Guillermo del Toro served as a guest of honor at the fourth annual Hero Complex Film Festival this past weekend in Hollywood, appearing on stage for a Q&A between screenings of two of his most personal films, the Spanish-language movies “The Devil’s Backbone,” a 2001 gothic horror movie set during the Spanish Civil War, and “Pan’s Labyrinth,” his Academy Award-winning dark fantasy set during Francoist Spain.
The writer-director talked about the ways his children have influenced his work — “If I had not had my two daughters, I couldn’t have written, much less do, ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ because the girl Ofelia is very much based in how much admiration I have for their character,” Del Toro said.
He talked about “Pan’s” as a film very much about “choice and disobedience.”
“It was very important for me to make a movie in which I showed that you don’t need to be empowered to make the right choice,” Del Toro said. “Unless a meteorite hits you, you have a choice. It’s very easy to comply to peer pressure, social pressure and not be yourself, and I wanted to tell a story about a kid that is right at that age when the world is telling her she has to be one thing and she can decide to become that or choose to stay true to what she believes in.”
Hosted by Hero Complex editor Gina McIntyre at the Chinese 6 Theatres, the festival started Friday night with a John Carpenter double feature and discussion and continued Saturday with a screening of “The Mist” featuring Frank Darabont and Thomas Jane.
Sunday afternoon featured a screening of “Independence Day” and conversation with director Roland Emmerich, producer Dean Devlin, star Jeff Goldbum and effects wizard Volker Engel. That was followed in the evening by a 20th anniversary tribute to “The X-Files” with creator Chris Carter and two of the series’ writers, Glen Morgan and Darin Morgan, and showings of three fan-picked episodes.
Look for more video excerpts from each of the conversations from the festival to be posted soon.
– Gina McIntyre
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