Famed director, Guillermo Del Toro has published Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions, a beautiful coffe table book, with contributions by Marc Scott Zicree, that gives readers an inside look into the mind of a creative master.

Guillermo del Toro is a busy man these days. Del Toro has a new FX show, The Strain, which is scheduled to premiere in July. In addition, his Victorian horror flick, Crimson Peak, will hit theatres on Oct. 16, 2015. Still, del Toro found the time to compile a number of his diaries and notebooks and, with the help of Marc Scott Zicree, a filmmaker and media expert, molded them into a stunning coffee table book.

Del Toro’s famous friends, including director and screenwriter John Landis, writer Neil Gaiman and director Alfonso Cuaron, who discusses his decades old friendship with del Toro, praise the Mexican director in chapters throughout the book. First, James Cameron starts the love fest in the foreword. It takes Cameron all of two paragraphs to compare del Toro’s notebooks to Leonardo Di Vinci’s.

While del Toro’s work has not contributed the same tangible improvements to society as Leonardo’s, there is no denying del Toro’s creative genius. His sketches and notebooks are nothing short of breathtaking. This book would make for an ideal present for fans of del Toro’s work.


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“There is one out there on the film landscape to even compare him to, and in fact describing him merely as a filmmaker is far too limiting,” Cameron wrote in the foreword. “He is an artist of enormous and precise vision who just happens to work on the most technically complex and culturally pervasive canvas of our time, the motion picture.”

In the book, del Toro discusses his creative process, his influences, graphic design and his working oasis, Bleak House. Bleak House is his office, second home and houses numerous props from his films. Del Toro's testimony are fascinating; however, the star of the book is the extensive peak into del Toro’s notebooks, sketches, and, most notably, his films.

Del Toro’s insights into the creative process for his films are nonpareil. (It makes sense considering they are his films.) He discusses Cronos, Mimic, The Devil’s Backbone, Blade II, Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy II: The Golden Army and Pacific Rim, which stars Idris Elba as Stacker Pentecost. In addition, del Toro discusses several unfinished projects including Meat Market (not based on Bruce Feldman’s college football book), Mephisto’s Bridge, The List of Seven, The Left Hand of Darkness and At The Mountains of Madness.

Del Toro called Mephisto’s Bridge, a Faustian tale based on a novel called Spanky by Christopher Fowler, one of the favorite things he’s ever written and that it has some of his favorite designs too.

Below is a del Toro sketch of Spanky, the main character who was a demon, a “slender beautiful creature that was kind of made of moving pieces when he was out of his host,” he said in the book. “Right here [below], preparing, are the roots of the Faun, and the Hellboy creatures, and Hellboy himself. This is where it all comes from, this basic form.”

Tom Cruise wrote the afterword about how he admired del Toro’s work since his first film, Cronos. “Guillermo surrounds himself with things that inspire him and storytelling. He’s one of the most fascinating people to sit down with, and his imagination is absolutely extraordinary,” he wrote.

Cruise concludes with this passage, “Guillermo will permeate every frame of the movie in the same way that he cane be found in every room of his Bleak House, in every illustration of his journals, and on every page of this book. It’s a beautiful thing to witness, and I look forward to being a part of his exceptionally imaginative world.”

Cabinet of Curiosities isn’t your traditional book. It’s more of a graphic design coffee table inspired by del Toro’s mind. It is an incredible peak into the mind of one of the most creative artists of this generation and, much like his films, his work imprints images onto your mind.

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