Guillermo del Toro discusses Alfred Hitchcock's legacy

Guillermo del Toro will introduce a Toronto film series spotlighting Alfred Hitchcock, whom he considers a great influence on his own career.
Guillermo del Toro will deliver four Alfred Hitchcock master classes in Toronto. (Reuters)

Over the next month in Toronto, Guillermo del Toro will introduce a series of films by Alfred Hitchcock, whom the Mexican filmmaker considers a great influence on his own career.

In Toronto to shoot Pacific Rim, del Toro will give a master class on Hitchcock's significance and film language at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on May 7, 8, 15 and 16.

He's chosen four films that he feels show the widest range of Hitchcock's technique: Frenzy (1972), North by Northwest (1959), Notorious (1946) and Shadow of a Doubt (1943).

In an interview with Jian Ghomeshi, host of CBC's Q cultural affairs show, del Toro revealed that he wrote a book on Hitchcock when he was a 23-year-old student. 

"He's not only someone who's very accessible — and you can see the effect his movies and scenes have on people — but also he's somebody that you are not intimidated by as a young filmmaker," del Toro said.

The Pan’s Labyrinth director argues that Hitchcock created an entire language of cinema that has had a lasting impact on the industry.

He sees Hitchcock as a master of manipulating human emotion and admires both his popular sensibility as well as his ability to probe the darker corners of the psyche.

"When you grow up as a child who sits in the corner of playground watching other kids play, you understand the human condition at an early age and you understand that the world is not under your control," del Toro said.

"Then, you find a medium in which you can have 500 people elucidate the same reaction at the same time."

Del Toro will also host an hour-long question-and-answer session about Hitchcock as part of each master class.