Director Guillermo del Toro is one of my favorite filmmakers, and his greatest strength is his talent for design. "Crimson Peak: The Art of Darkness" details his process and features the great design work from his latest film - which del Toro himself says is "the most beautiful-looking movie that I've made". You probably haven't seen a film like this in a long time; and you probably haven't read a book this good in a while either.
The author, Mark Salisbury (who always does a great job with these books) details every aspect of the production. The book is organized by character; then a large portion is dedicated to Allerdale Hall and its ghosts. Every step of the way, the text includes quotes from del Toro and his team of artists.
Of course, the book is rich with imagery. In particular, the design of the house is endlessly impressive. The house was built extensively in a way that most movie sets aren't. For example, the rooms were built in complete 360-degrees (including the ceiling) so that del Toro could shoot from any angle. The architecture; the furniture; even the wallpaper is meticulously designed to evoke a response from the audience. The team also had to be sure that every other design element - such as the single-source lighting and the color of the costumes - complemented the visual style of the house itself.
One of the things fans might be familiar with is that del Toro wrote biographies for each of the characters to assist the actors and inform their performances. Well, the bios for the main characters are all included here, and it's fascinating to read some of the background information of them. Besides the biography sheets, the book has other extras sparked throughout the book, including a few small sketchbook pages and a 16x20" poster (folded into quarters).
This is a wonderful book full of imagination, and I highly recommend buying it if you enjoyed "Crimson Peak". If you're a fan of del Toro's work in general, then I'd suggest also picking up his Cabinet of Curiosities.
Thank you to Insight Editions for providing me a review copy of the book.
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*Republished from partner site MovieArtBook.com
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