Jessica Chastain in “Work of Art” photographed by Annie Leibovitz for Vogue USA December 2013
Frederic Leighton’s Flaming June, Henri Matisse’s Odalisque with Red Culottes, Félix Vallotton’s Le Retour, Anders Zorn’s Frances Folsom Cleveland, Gustav Klimt’s Ria Munk, Vincent van Gogh’s La Mousmé, René Magritte’s La Robe du Soir, Julia Margaret Cameron’s photography.
“As the hours, the days, the weeks, the seasons slip by, you detach yourself from everything. You discover, with something that sometimes almost resembles exhilaration, that you are free. That nothing is weighing you down, nothing pleases or displeases you. You find, in this life exempt from wear and tear and with no thrill in it other than these suspended moments, in almost perfect happiness, fascinating, occasionally swollen by new emotions. You are living in a blessed parenthesis, in a vacuum full of promise, and from which you expect nothing. You are invisible, limpid, transparent. You no longer exist. Across the passing hours, the succession of days, the procession of the seasons, the flow of time, you survive without joy and without sadness. Without a future and without a past. Just like that: simply, self evidently, like a drop of water forming on a drinking tap on a landing.”
For all of the difficulty that Guillermo del Toro has experienced in getting his projects off the ground, his imagination is famously restless and unquenchable. A gifted artist who’s as capable of bringing his visions to life with a pencil as he is with a camera, del Toro is known to first begin creating his film worlds in the pages of his sketchbooks (del Toro once left his “Pan’s Labyrinth” notes in the back seat of a cab, and the loss might have killed the movie if not for the kind efforts of the cab driver to return the book). While most of the notes and illustrations that fill del Toro’s sketchbooks may never be available to the public, many pages have made their way to the web, and many more can be found in various books and on the Criterion Collection DVDs of “Cronos” and “The Devil’s Backbone.” Here, we’ve collected the images that we could find, a modest collection that nevertheless provides a thrilling glimpse into the mind of an extraordinary storyteller.
Voyage to Italy (Viaggio in Italia) - Roberto Rossellini, 1954 Claire’s Knee (Le genou de Claire) - Éric Rohmer, 1970 Certified Copy (Copie conforme) - Abbas Kiarostami, 2010 The Green Ray (Le rayon vert) - Éric Rohmer, 1986 Scenes from a Marriage (Scener ur ett äktenskap) - Ingmar Bergman, 1974