Guillermo del Toro’s thoughts on vampires – Big Think

I tried to capture  Guillermo del Toro’s pattern of speech when transcribing bits and pieces of this short clip.  His delivery is fascinating, full of subtle expression.  I was amazed by Pan’s Labyrinth (2006).  The film was not at all what I had expected.  It’s difficult to explain how del Toro’s world of hyper-natural surrealism effects me, but it does.

Guillermo del Toro begins this Big Think segment with the origins of the vampire myth in fiction. He names John Polidori’s short story The Vampyre.  Polidori had an ‘ambivalent’ relationship with his master and friend, Lord Byron.  His main vampire character in the story was based on Lord Byron, according to del Toro.

“He immediately gave birth to a vampire that was both a loathsome parasite and a dandy, a seductive character that is later absorbed..”

“Right now, we have an unbridled, sort of melodramatic, romantic fantasy with the vampire.  It’s only one half of the myth, the bad boy, romantic lead myth, which is essentially gothic fiction.  It can be Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights or Robert Pattinson in Twilight.”

“The thing that it tells you right now is that human relationships, intimate relationships have become so completely demythified, they’ve become so prosaic, you know where you..  Whenever you talk about a relationship., you’re talking about it in very prosaic terms.  How much does he or she make?  What job security?  Nest-egg planning., it’s all very materialistic., double-income household, it all becomes very prosaic and it’s almost impossible to dream romantic things without something corny.”

The bad boy myth is essentially gothic fiction, according to del Toro.  Romance is materialistic, prosaic.

“What I find symptomatic.., I dare say, for the first time in the culture of mankind, the vampire has been., sort of de-fanged by making them celebate and asexual, as opposed to poly-sexual like Anne Rice did them… they have been mormonized so to speak, into being a sanitized creature.”

“I’m fascinated by it., as a symbol of where we are as a society.”

“I try to watch the phenomenon without judging it, but it’s quite peculiar.”


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