As a scholar of del Toro myself, [after reading Film as Alchemic Art] I found my understanding of this filmmaker enriched by readings of his works that I had never considered and furthermore, my comprehension of contemporary auterism expanded. [...] McDonald and Clark's book lays a solid foundation for whatever work may follow in this impressive and comprehensive reading of del Toro's cinema. -- Ian Pettigrew, University of Miami Cinema Journal In this study, McDonald and Clark achieve a comprehensive and scholarly examination of the director and his cinema. In a thoroughly researched account of del Toro's literary and cinematic influences, his experimentation with genre, the trans-national quality of his work and his self-identification as a fan, the authors build a sharp and fascinating portrait of del Toro. To this they add a series of lucid and critical readings of the director's films that show an admirable command of del Toro's multi-generic and multicultural points of reference. Building the study around the apposite metaphor of del Toro as alchemist, McDonald and Clark's study captures the person and the work brilliantly, combining exhaustive research with an evident enthusiasm for the subject matter. The result, as alchemical as del Toro's cinema, is an in-depth yet highly approachable book that will appeal to scholars and fans alike. -- Sheldon Penn, Lecturer in Latin American Studies, University of Leicester, UK. A lucid, rigorous mid-career study of Guillermo del Toro's films, Guillermo del Toro: Film as Alchemic Art is critical reading for students and scholars of del Toro's cinematic oeuvre. McDonald and Clark situate del Toro's films as transnational, hybrid narratives informed by traditional and non-traditional styles as well as the fantasy and horror genres and auteurist tradition. The result is a nuanced portrait of the transformative nature or "alchemic art" of del Toro's narratives, which the authors point out feature "counter-narratives," non-Hollywood endings, and imagery that is alternately brutal and beautiful. This hybrid, "accented" cinema illustrates the mystery, violence, and transformations inherent in the stories del Toro tells. -- Juli A. Kroll, Associate Professor of Spanish, University of St. Thomas, USA This is as good an account of del Toro's influences, preoccupations and films as one could hope for. It combines detailed analysis of the films with a wide-ranging examination of the cultural context of his work, including cinematic, literary and artistic influences, as well as considering him from the perspectives of transnational cinema, queer cinema, and the rich relationship that he has with the world of fandom. A well informed, lucid and stimulating study. -- Andrew Tudor, Emeritus Professor of Film and Television, University of York, UKVom Verlag:
A critical exploration of one of the most exciting, original and influential figures to emerge in contemporary film, Guillermo del Toro: Film as Alchemic Art is a major contribution to the analysis of Guillermo del Toro's cinematic output. It offers an in-depth discussion of del Toro's oeuvre and investigates key ideas, recurrent motifs and subtle links between his movies. The book explores the sources that del Toro draws upon and transforms in the creation of his rich and complex body of work. These include the literary, artistic and cinematic influences on films such as Pan's Labyrinth, The Devil's Backbone, Cronos and Mimic, and the director's engagement with comic book culture in his two Hellboy films, Blade II and Pacific Rim. As well as offering extensive close textual analysis, the authors also consider del Toro's considerable impact on wider popular culture, including a discussion of his role as producer, ambassador for 'geek' culture and figurehead in new international cinema.
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