Guillermo del Toro and a nice dark minestrone (score 7) - Corriere.it

Guillermo del Toro and a nice dark minestrone (score 7) - Corriere.it


Of Maurice Porro

The director recounts his nightmares and neuroses in «Cabinet of curiosities»,
summary of genres that he has always frequented, horror, fantasy, dark

Let's put it this way. One day, or rather one evening, or rather one night, Guillermo del Toro decides that she is the reincarnation of Poe and he also proves it to us with some decisive final burning. At 58, after the many awards and festivals and the Oscar for his personal reinterpretation of "Pinocchio", the Mexican director, producer and screenwriter of the new wave that has conquered Hollywood, decides to summarize his nightmares, his neuroses and fears in a TV series (Netflix, with Moretti's famous 190 countries) of 8 episodes, "Cabinet of curiosities". The title is clear, it is a summary of genres that are fashionable in the cinema and that Del Toro has always frequented, horror, fantasy, Tim Burton-style dark, sometimes mixed with life, sometimes decidedly wrapped up in the dreamlike sphere of the most dangerous nocturnal hours, the hour of the wolf (copyright Bergman). So he engaged a good troupe of actors (not stars), some valid directors who know what fear is, and he started on the attack, acting as guarantor as Hitchcock did many years ago with his legendary series.

As in his best films ("Pan's labyrinth", "The shape of water"), Del Toro, who in two cases was the inspiration for the subject, prefers the mutations of forms, here we also get to the manipulation of the human face. There are eight stories and each with a symbolic object that every time del Toro himself extracts from an old, sumptuous Boulle-style piece of furniture, starting the story: many darkness, runaway sets, surreal environments, an ambiguity that reigns supreme and a restlessness that reigns supreme. The first episode "Lotto 36" is based on a script by the director himself, and tells of a man reduced to poverty who finds a mysterious and equally dangerous object in an old warehouse, a diabolical circle already known to horror lovers (directed by Guglielmo Navarro, see "The Godfather of Harlem"). We then move on, and it is a leap forward, to "The rats of the cemetery" (story by Henry Kuttner, directed by Vincenzo Natali): it is one of the nightmare moments of the series with the usual man who puts himself in the grave to take possession of other people's wealth and meets in a tunnel, not unexpected guests, families of mice and other human larvae. In comparison, “The Autopsy”, directed by David Prior, seems like a bad dream, that of a coroner who has to investigate the suspicious death of a group of miners: needless to say, it won't go as planned, he ends up a victim himself.

Perhaps the best is “The appearance” (directed by Ana Lily Amirpour) a sort of surreal marketing spot on what women do to equalize themselves with the official standards of beauty, going into open conflict with their husbands. Then there are two stories by the famous American writer Lovecraft, the first by Keith Thomas talks about the diabolical and supernatural power of pictorial art, comparing two rivals; the second, by Catherine Hardwicke (“Twilight”) is the most classic because it returns to the classic search for the afterlife from where a twin wants to bring back to life his beloved little sister torn as a child, but a witch gets in the way. Beautiful "the buzz", last story, by Jennifer Kent (gender equality respected): in the original subject a couple of unhappy ornithologists who end up in the house by the sea, naturally isolated and full of demons and personal ghosts.

May 31, 2023 (change May 31, 2023 | 07:24)



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