A Guided Tour of Guillermo del Toro’s Creativity-Inducing Man Cave, “Bleak House”

Many guys have man caves – a room, a base­ment, a shed where a dude can get away from the demands of domes­tic­i­ty and do dude things. Guiller­mo del Toro, the Oscar-nom­i­nat­ed direc­tor of such movies as Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacif­ic Rim and the upcom­ing Crim­son Peak, doesn’t just have a cave. He has an entire house. It’s called Bleak House and it’s pret­ty amaz­ing. In a fea­turette for Criterion’s release of Cronos (1993), Del Toro gives a guid­ed tour. You can watch it above.

As you can see, the place feels less like a frat house than an eccen­tric muse­um. One of his inspi­ra­tions was curios­i­ty cab­i­nets of old. Indeed, the walls are crammed with paint­ings, prints and curios and just about every cor­ner is teem­ing with skele­tons, skulls, ten­ta­cles and creepy things float­ing in bot­tles of formalde­hyde.

Anoth­er inspi­ra­tion was the orig­i­nal research library for Dis­ney Stu­dios, which fed the imag­i­na­tion of the studio’s artists with lots of art. So Del Toro has orig­i­nal frames from Ger­tie the Dinosaur by Win­sor McCay, the first ani­mat­ed movie ever, along with draw­ings by Moe­bius and pho­tographs of Alfred Hitch­cock. He also has piles of books, mag­a­zines and DVDs. “What­ev­er it is,” says Del Toro, “it’s here to pro­vide a shock to the sys­tem and get cir­cu­lat­ing the lifeblood of cre­ativ­i­ty, which I think is curios­i­ty. When we lose curios­i­ty, we lose entire­ly inven­tive­ness, and we start becom­ing old. So the man cave of Bleak house was designed to be sort of a com­pres­sion cham­ber where we can cre­ate a stim­u­lat­ing envi­ron­ment…” for artists.

Right above you even more about Bleak House in which Del Toro gives a tour to hor­ror direc­tor Tim Sul­li­van. Not only is the place filled with strange and macabre curiosi­ties but also memen­toes from Del Toro’s movies. Want to see Del Toro bran­dish the orig­i­nal Big Baby from Hell­boy II: The Gold­en Army? Check this video out.

Via @LaFa­mil­i­aFilm

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Sketch­es by Guiller­mo del Toro Take You Inside the Director’s Wild­ly Cre­ative Imag­i­na­tion

Geome­tria: Watch Guiller­mo del Toro’s Very Ear­ly, Ghoul­ish Short Film (1987)

Jonathan Crow is a Los Ange­les-based writer and film­mak­er whose work has appeared in Yahoo!, The Hol­ly­wood Reporter, and oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low him at @jonccrow. And check out his blog Veep­to­pus, fea­tur­ing lots of pic­tures of bad­gers and even more pic­tures of vice pres­i­dents with octo­pus­es on their heads.  The Veep­to­pus store is here.

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