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Guillermo del Toro
courtesy of the BFI

Guillermo del Toro shares the films and books he’s enjoying in isolation

Darren Aronofsky, Ari Aster, Ava DuVernay, and more also weighed in with their recommendations

After a short absence from social media, Guillermo del Toro has taken to Twitter to share with his followers what he has been reading and watching while in coronavirus quarantine.

While the production of his film The Nightmare Alley has been suspended, the Academy Award-winning director created an isolation “watch list” through a giant Twitter thread featuring work and recommendations by fellow filmmakers Darren Aronofsky, Ari Aster, Ava DuVernay, Edgar Wright, and more.

“We will be here a little bit and the first few questions are: What are you reading? What are you watching? What are you listening to? And how many days have you been indoors?” reads the first of the many tweets del Toro shared.

Many of the titles are currently available on the streaming platform The Criterion Channel. There’s Gustaf Molander’s A Woman’s Face, Ermanno Olmi’s Il Posto, and Celine Sciamma’s Girlhood and Tomboy. Not to forget del Toro’s favourite TV shows – most of which are on Netfflix – Ozark, Better Call Saul, and, for the foodies, reality-based cooking game show series Chopped.

“I have been indoors for over a month. Self-imposed,” said del Toro. “I have been mostly re-watching and re-reading. But – as most people – I imagine that I wanted to read or learn or communicate in a way that made this worthwhile.”

Doctor Strange’s director Scott Derickson also shared his obsession with Alex Garland’s Devs, a science fiction miniseries that premiered this March as part of FX on Hulu. Ava DuVernay, who described her watch list as “weird and all over the place,” admitted to having fallen into the trap of re-watching Notting Hill and Béla Tarr’s The Turin Horse, while Ari Aster has been re-watching the third seasons of The Sopranos and Mizoguchi’s Ugetsu. Darren Aronofsky contributed to the thread by sharing his quarantine films, including Barton Fink, Amelie, Rashamon, and Total Recall. As for the books that the director has been reading, Aronofsky mentioned classics from Henry David Thoreau and Pablo Neruda.

As the coronavirus crisis continues, filmmakers have been offering some light relief, tips, and entertainment to keep fans satisfied through quarantine. Most recently, Pain and Glory filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar recommended a list of – very erotic – films that he’s been watching during the pandemic. Last month, Wes Anderson shared his film recommendations in a letter sent to the independent streaming service The Criterion Channel. The formidable French new wave icon Jean-Luc Godard also gave a masterclass over Instagram Live, with advice for young filmmakers and musings on his own creative philosophies.

Check del Toro’s thread below.