Popular filmmaker Guillermo del Toro accepted the prestigious Cinema Unbound award from PAM CUT (Center for an Untold Tomorrow), a new-media-focused division of the Portland Art Museum. Later, he engaged in a conversation with Amy Dotson, the curator of PAM CUT. The discussion covered different topics close to del Toro’s heart. There were discussions of the challenges he faces in getting his passion projects greenlit and his unwavering dedication to animation art. The most exciting was his concerns about the impact of artificial intelligence on the creative community.

One topic that piqued everyone’s interest was the creative community’s encounter with artificial intelligence. Del Toro’s amazing exhibit, “Guillermo del Toro: Crafting Pinocchio,” celebrates the artistry involved in his Oscar-winning stop-motion film. The remarkable exhibition shows the amazing work of Guillermo del Toro and co-director Mark Gustafson. This huge experience provides a glimpse into the intricate process of bringing their visionary film to life.

Guillermo del Toro and Childhood Dream

Since childhood, Guillermo del Toro has been delighted by monsters and stop-motion animation. With a laugh, he expressed, “Since I was a kid, all I wanted to do was monsters and stop-motion animation, and that’s what I’m doing, so why the fuck should I not do it?”

Del Toro has been working on his dreams since then and said about his next film, an animated adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s fantasy novel “The Buried Giant” for Netflix. Set in an alternative version of England where King Arthur actually existed, the film uses stop-motion animation and has the support of renowned animators ShadowMachine.

High On Films in collaboration with Avanté

Del Toro is more scared of Humans

Del Toro’s unwavering determination shines through, even in the face of multiple rejections from studios. He shared with the audience at the Portland Museum, “But we keep going. With ShadowMachine, Mark, everybody, when we were involved with ‘Pinocchio,’ you have no idea how we were involved in meeting after meeting, and hearing no … if you have the conviction that it must be made, ‘no’ is a ‘yes’ waiting to happen. You just have to say, alright, your loss. You literally have to believe that. You should not question your material. You should not say, ‘What am I doing wrong?’ The last time somebody passed on ‘The Buried Giant,’ I wrote an email and said it’s easier for me to do it than to argue with you. I’ll just show it to you. And you’ll see I was right. Or not. There’s a lot of things to do, but it’s very important to have that certainty.”

As del Toro continues to develop projects like “The Buried Giant,” he maintains his deep love for cinema. He admitted to watching three movies daily, finding inspiration from new releases, and revisiting classics. He highlighted the transformative power of viewing the same film at different stages of life, remarking, “If you watch ‘All About Eve’ at fifteen and then again at forty, you’ll see two entirely different movies.”

Optimism and Hope for the Future

Guillermo del Toro expressed a mix of enthusiasm and skepticism when questioned about his outlook on creativity in today’s world. He acknowledged the flaws of humanity but highlighted the remarkable achievements and potential found within individuals. Del Toro drew hope from the next generation and their unwavering passion for the arts.

Speaking to the crowd at the Portland Art Museum, he stated, “When I see people who are fearless, I get inspired, and I like it, and I like the possibilities when people talk about now, and how it’s all dire, and [how] people are afraid of artificial intelligence… I don’t fear artificial intelligence. I fear natural stupidity. Any intelligence in this world is artificial. When I look at the people coming into the art scene and how they are in spite of all the things that are hardships and all the things weighing against it, they love art, and that’s what makes my spirit sing.”

In contrast to the common fear surrounding artificial intelligence, del Toro voiced his concerns about “natural stupidity.” He viewed any intelligence in the world as naturally artificial, emphasizing the significance of individuals entering the art scene and pursuing their creative attempts despite the challenges they face. Del Toro boldly declared, “I don’t fear artificial intelligence; I fear natural stupidity.”

While he praised the next generation for their spirit and resilience, Guillermo del Toro also acknowledged the difficulties faced during the transitional phase from adolescence to adulthood. He humorously referred to ages 14 through 24 as “hell” and shared a profound insight, “Since I was seven, I’ve looked forward to being old. The real crime in our existence is to look for perfection. We should all aspire to imperfection.”

Final Words of Wisdom

Reflecting on his journey, Guillermo del Toro offered advice to his younger self: “Don’t eat that fucking cupcake.” With his characteristic wit and wisdom, he reminded everyone present of the importance of embracing life’s challenges and finding beauty in the imperfect.

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