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Las claves de The Shape of Water, por Guillermo del Toro

En 2006 Guillermo del Toro fue invitado especial del Festival Internacional de Cine de Morelia (FICM) por primera vez, cuando presentó El laberinto del fauno (2006). Once años después, vuelve a Morelia a presentar su más reciente película The Shape of Water, la cual ganó el León de Oro a Mejor Película en el Festival de Cine de Venecia, convirtiéndose así en el primer mexicano en obtener este reconocimiento.

Daniela Michel, directora general del FICM, definió a Guillermo del Toro como "un genio del cine contemporáneo" y agradeció su presencia durante la conferencia de prensa de su nueva película. Al evento también asistieron Cuahutémoc Cárdenas Batel, vicepresidente, y Alejandro Ramírez, presidente del festival.

The Shape of Water es un cuento de hadas ambientado en Estados Unidos cuyo telón de fondo es la Guerra Fría, en el año de 1962. Eliza trabaja en un laboratorio secreto del Gobierno. Ella se siente aislada en un mundo de soledad y silencio, pues es muda. Pero su vida cambiará para siempre cuando ella y su compañera de trabajo Zelda descubran el experimento clasificado del laboratorio.

Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Batel, Daniela Michel, Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro Ramírez Magaña

On the aesthetic

All elements of the film are taken care of. "The film, every two pages, had to talk about water. Whether it was drinking water, through sweat, etc., because it tries to show water in all its forms. That is why in the calendar that appears at the beginning of the film has phrases like "Time is a river that rises from the past" or "Life is the wreckage of our ideals."

In addition, he talked about the importance of color coding, as Sally's and creature's world is identified with blue and cold colors to simulate water. "Her apartment is full of humidity, it's almost always night time or has cold lighting. Compared to the rooms of other characters, where the tones are warm even when the scenes are at night," he added. On the other hand, the color green is assigned to the future, "every time we talk about the future we use that color, and red was used to represent everything related to life, love and cinema."

He noted that there is a scene with a wallpaper reminiscent of the creature's scales, "on the wall of Sally's apartment there is an enormous humidity stain. We reproduced the engraving of the giant wave of Kanagawa with dampness", said del Toro.

About the creature, he said the idea was for it to mean something different for different characters, "for some it is related to its origin, for others it is a god, the recovery of faith in science and nature, or disgust in this foreign creature." The design work was complex, since it took three years to make sure the character didn't reference any other. They focused on salamanders, toads to texturing sculptures and painting. "We never paint a flat color, it is painted on slides. There is the base, the stencil, another layer of hand paint, a process was repeated several times. (...) The creature has all the colors of the film, it's like a shooting target", this was done so that the creature could fit in all the scenarios and respect the coding that links it with other characters.

He said the process had to be meticulous because "a being who is going to feel and express emotions is built millimetre by millimetre," he added.

Political References

The film is set in the Cold War, specifically in 1962, the year in which the myth of the American dream is shattered. "There was an apparent abundance and an apparent progress unless you were part of a minority. What happens in the movie is that if you were a minority, that time was very much like it is now. There were differences of gender, racial brutality (...) The important thing is to make a movie about today using a time that allows a parable, which is the (year) 1962. If I do it today, it becomes typical, specific." He said.

When questioned about the possibility of obtaining an Oscar, del Toro said that his main prize is that there is a film and thanked the possibility of being able to make films that he likes.

Watch the full press conference of The Shape of Water with Guillermo del Toro.