Cultural Life: Guillermo del Toro, film-maker

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Film: The last movie I saw in the theatre was 'Inception'. It was fantastic. Christopher Nolan's constructions are always marvels of precision and emotion. I also loved 'I Love You Phillip Morris'. I'm a big fan of Jim Carrey anyway, as an actor he has incredible control over his body and face, but I found both his and Ewan McGregor's performances incredibly moving. I also loved the rhythm and tone of 'Winter's Bone'.

Television American drama 'Justified' is an incredible piece of fiction, I'm just finishing the second series, and I love the hard-wired Walter White character in 'Breaking Bad'. I find it fascinating to watch how incredibly regimented a life can be when a character starts to think his days are over, and he decides to change everything out of a sheer impulse.

Books: I have been reading 'Roman Life' by John Clarke and 'Everyday Life in Ancient Rome' by Lionel Casson, which are helping me research for my own writing. Some of the mundane details are perfect as idea or texture generators in my work. I am also re-reading a series compiling lectures on world literature by Nabokov.

Music: Most recently I have been listening to the score for 'Tron: Legacy', by Daft Punk. It's tremendously evocative, moving remarkably between the percussive and action-driven to the elegiac and melancholy in the same score. I also have Arvo Pärt's 'Spiegel im Spiegel' on loop, almost like a mantra.

Visual Arts: I attended Chet Zar's Conjoined exhibition at The Copro Gallery in Santa Monica. I'm a collector of his portraiture, most of which could easily adorn the hallways of hell. His tortured subjects seem at once entirely at ease and suffocated by pain.

'Julia's Eyes', produced by Guillermo del Toro, is in cinemas now.