The day after making a surprise appearance at the TIFF opening night premiere at Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron, 3x Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro sat down for a wide-ranging discussion that canvassed art, animation, fantasy and more. Whatever subject del Toro doted on — it was all wise and axiom wisdom that the audience could pocket and walk away with. Read, in his take on Miyazaki, del Toro said “When you see a movie, you know when it’s hurting someone [a director] or it’s a conceit.”
In the process of explaining how animation is a medium, not a genre, and the marvels of the hand-drawn process of Miyazaki and overall craft of cartooning, even if it is CGI, del Toro broached the subject of A.I.
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[Editor’s note: the opening credits of Marvel’s Secret Invasion used an AI animated opening credits sequence].
“People ask me, are you worried about AI?” said The Shape of Water filmmaker, “I’m worried about natural stupidity!”
Meaning it takes a person to program the AI.
Essentially those who are using AI; are doing so per del Toro, “if you want something shitty and quicky.”
“AI is a tool and it isn’t,” said the director.
“Buy a printer, print the Mona Lisa and say you made it,” said the director metaphorically about the faults of AI.
Later on Bailey asked del Toro, whose works are across TV, film, and streaming, how he knows when a project is intended for each medium.
TV for del Toro is a place where the viewer wants “to hang out with characters, it’s a more intimate thing.”
“You can make a sandwich and come back,” said del Toro.
“Movies are there — you’re going to listen to what I have to say for two hours and listen goddammit!”
He also advised creators in the crowd, “the audience knows when you’re bullshitting.”
“Sometimes, I come home from work and want the stupidness to come to me,” the director continued, “TV tells us we look good in those jeans!”
“Moves are like religion,” del Toro said, and resonate with its viewers as such, like the frequency of glass.
“We’re made of certain crystals and movies are notes.”
Philosophizing about fantasy, del Toro said that it “doesn’t want to organize your room, it wants to take a shit in it.” The sub-genre is about “things you couldn’t address in your normal life.”
Fantasy when made commercial can become “defanged and pasteurized” warned the director.
del Toro told the crowd how he’s been involved in the film industry for 30 years, but there’s only 12 movies he’s directed. Still he’s been writing, and only invests his time where his passion lies. During that time he’s written 40 movies. “The ones I didn’t make were really good!”
Exclaimed del Toro, “Success is f***king up on your own terms. You don’t like my movie, and I’ve learned. You don’t have to like it. On the next, I’ll make fresh mistakes.”
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