GDT On Religion, Part 1

Having described himself as a “lapsed Catholic,” a common theme in GDT’s movies is religion. Here are some interesting quotes from Guillermo on this topic:

From an interview by Mira Sorvino, August 1997:

“I think the concept of good and evil has to be both moral and religious. Growing up as a child in Mexico, you’re exposed to all these images of saints who have no eyes and are bleeding from their sockets, and you’re supposed to pray to a Christ who is purple with wounds and oozing substances, and people are kissing his feet, which have chunks of bone showing through the flesh. Religion is supposed to make you feel safe, but here you are, praying to a purple guy who doesn’t speak. I can’t avoid images like these in my films, although I think they’re much less predominant in Mimic than in Cronos….”

“I spent a lot of time with my grandmother because my parents traveled a lot. Actually, my real grandmother, my mother’s mother, died during childbirth. The woman I call my grandmother was my grandmother’s sister. She was an extremely repressed and religious woman. You know how it is with old school Catholics: You’re born and you’re already in sin, and you go, Why? I haven’t even enjoyed myself yet. What the hell is this about? In Catholicism it’s like God is merciless, the Devil is evil, and they aren’t that far apart, in the sense that they’re both stem figures watching over your shoulder to see which way you teeter. If you go a little too much to the God side, then the Devil is very interested in you. If you go a little too much to the Devil side, then God damns you. And then you have a sense of guilt, which is a key element in any horror movie. The old guy scratching himself in Cronos is a metaphor for many things, from sexual addiction to chemical addiction – compulsive urges that in Catholicism become sin.”

“In Latin American countries it’s understood that Christ was flesh and blood, Christ was human – let’s see him bleed. A saint that has bled is a human saint. A saint that exists only on an altar in white surrounded by halos, what is that? Those people who committed suicide in the Heaven’s Gate cult had no idea whatsoever about the real. world anymore. What they looked up to were these emasculated white aliens devoid of any dark side. I think First World cultures tend to homogenize religion and make it more remote. For example, kids in America don’t know they’re going to die, whereas in South America if you tell a fable about a kid going into a dangerous place, the kid invariably dies – it’s about teaching children that if you cross certain lines of safety, you die. It’s not like you can cross the safety line and then jump in with John Williams music and everything will be all right.”

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