The Review/Podcast/

TIFF Un/cut: Guillermo del Toro’s Gothic Romance

Hear a masterclass from the filmmaker, whose new feature The Shape of Water will premiere at TIFF ‘17

Jul 25, 2017

The first wave of Festival announcements has passed, and among the bombshells is the news that honourary Torontonian Guillermo del Toro’s latest film will premiere at TIFF ‘17. The Shape of Water is many things — an aquatic love story between a lonely janitor (Sally Hawkins) and an amphibian, an ironic commentary on the American dream, a tribute to star Michael Shannon’s jawline — but fans of the auteur’s creature features and his twisted sense of humour will not be disappointed. Not only has del Toro made a moving ode to old Hollywood cinema, but it is also his most emotional and deftly realized work yet.

One of the perks of having the Mexican filmmaker make his home in Toronto is del Toro’s annual Masterclass, held at TIFF Bell Lightbox. 2016 saw him lecture expertly on the work of Luis Buñuel, delivering in-depth analysis on the films Los Olvidados, El Bruto, Nazarin, Virdiana, Susana, and El.

This week’s TIFF UN/CUT airs a masterclass conducted while del Toro was deep in production mode for 2015’s Crimson Peak. The topic of conversation is, naturally, Gothic romances, as the cineaste analyzes three films in his identification of the genre’s conventions. In this recording, you’ll hear del Toro do a deep dive into Robert Stevenson’s 1943 adaptation of Jane Eyre, which boasts an impressive pedigree in its cast and crew with Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine starring as Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre, a score by Bernard Herrmann, and a script co-written by Brave New World author Aldous Huxley. It’s an engaging and fascination discussion from an auteur who's just as comfortable citing the Brontë sisters as he is breaking down Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead series.

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