April 20, 2020

What Darren Aronofsky, Guillermo del Toro, and Ava DuVernay Are Doing During Quarantine

Do you want to know what it would be like to hang out with your favorite directors and writers during quarantine? Look no further.

This afternoon, esteemed writer/director Guillermo del Toro got together with some of his favorite creative friends (virtually, of course, on Twitter) and posed some upbeat questions about how they are spending their time and fueling their creativity.

The thread ended up being an amazing gathering of some of today's most incredible filmmakers, with some big names jumping in with what they're watching and reading currently. I mean, just imagine you're eavesdropping on Ari Aster hanging out with Rian Johnson, Darren Aronofsky, and Ava DuVernay.

It's magical.

And we've combed through the threads to bring you the highlights.

Del Toro said he recently enjoyed the third season of Ozark and has been revisiting the works of Mitchell Leisen like Easy Living, Death Takes a Holiday, Midnight, Hold back the Dawn. (Fun fact? The last two were written by Billy Wilder.)

He says he also is endeavoring to get Mexican filmmakers into the Criterion library.

Here are just a few of the film, television, and book recommendations from the participating writers, directors, and creatives on del Toro's thread:

  • Beck and Woods said they are revisiting films that initially were not well received, including Chappie, Aloha, The Box, Jupiter Ascending, The Counselor, Alexander, and Welcome to Marwen.
  • Ari Aster is watching the works of Jacques Tati, The Sopranos season three, and is reading The Brothers Karamasov.
  • Scott Derrickson advocates getting a MUBI subscription for "a highly distinctive and artful experience" with arthouse movies. He also urges everyone to check out Alex Garland's new show, Devs.
  • Issa Lopez is reading Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor. She also just watched the FX biopic series Fosse/Verdon which then took her down a rabbit hole to Cabaret, Sweet Charity, and Nights of Cabiria.
  • Peyton Reed suggests a Criterion deep dive. He recently checked out Senkichi Taniguchi’s Snow Trail, which was written by Akira Kurosawa and is Toshiro Mifune’s first film.
  • James Mangold dropped some hints about what he might be working on now, saying he's reading a bunch about the 1960s folk scene. He also just watched Red Desert and Ugetsu.
  • Brad Bird is reading about the behind-the-scenes journeys of some favorite films like Chinatown and Casablanca. He also recently finished Catch & Kill.
  • Edgar Wright says he's watching two or three films a day and is focusing on war and postwar movies.
  • Darren Aronofsky even jumped in on day 40 of his quarantine. He says he's rewatching some recent classics like Barton Fink, Amelie, Rashomon, and the original Total Recall. (This led to a discussion of the Coen Brothers' filmography and del Toro stating that No Country for Old Men is among his top three films of all time.)
  • Rian Johnson says he watched Robert Altman's 3 Women for the first time and was surprised by how much he liked it. He also rewatched (and still loved) Who Framed Roger Rabbit and The Prestige.

Take a look at del Toro's Twitter to check out more from this rich pop culture discussion.

What are some things you're watching or reading during quarantine? Let us know in the comments!     

Your Comment

3 Comments

I'm resuming my viewings of Nicolas Roeg's Performance and The Man Who Fell to Earth tonight and I hope to God that by the time the whole thing is over, I'll have watched Diva, and some films by Orson Welles and Ingmar Bergman, say, Chimes at Midnight, F for Fake, Persona and Wild Strawberries. And maybe Alfonso Cuaron's Children of Men.

April 20, 2020 at 4:39PM

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Jesse J. Tripp
Screenwriter
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Nicolas Roeg's Performance and The Man

April 21, 2020 at 4:08AM

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nofilmschool

April 21, 2020 at 4:09AM, Edited April 21, 4:09AM

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