Sunday, October 08, 2017

Guillermo del Toro, "At Home With Monsters" at the AGO

Friday we drove downtown, picked up the younger college student at Union Station and checked out the Guillermo del Toro exhibit at the AGO.
It was heaps of fun, needless to say. The exhibit is built as a mini-mock-up of del Toro's actual house (or houses, more like, as I gather he divides his time between Toronto and LA) which he has modelled after Forrest J. Ackerman's. From the '70s to the '90s, the "Ackermansion" was something of a tourist destination for (ahem) sentimental nerdy types, chock full of Universal Monsters memorabilia he'd collected over several decades -- gone to the four winds since his passing, alas.
The Ackermansion, before the clutter.
Here we have "Bleak House."
There is indeed an abundance of STUFF: film props . . .
. . . comic book ephemera . . .
. . . wax figures galore . . .
"Tussaud can bite my shiny wax..."
. . . Freaks sits close to the director's heart, as can be expected . . .
. . . plus bundles of weird tchotchkes that have captured del Toro's eye and earned a place in Bleak House.

If you've seen Pan's Labyrinth or The Devil's Backbone you already know del Toro's taste for the macabre runs a tad deeper than Ackerman's likely did. Many of the pieces on display are unsettling, quite moving, or both. The prime example to my eyes is this Boris Karloff-Frankenstein's Monster bust.
"That's right: Toronto."
Photos don't do it justice, but the size and the articulation are surprisingly affecting -- the eyes are displaced, giving you the impression he is avoiding your gaze.
You feel sorry for the brute -- and so you should!

It's an experience, in other words -- not to be missed. In Toronto until January 7, 2018.

2 comments:

DarkoV said...

Was it also a house-decorating ideas trip, Darrell? Getting the ELW acclimated to an alternate view on home improvements...

Darrell Reimer said...

Haha -- yes, something like: "See? Our clutter isn't nearly this bad!"