I haven't watched many interviews or listened to any commentary tracks by Guillermo del Toro, but my experience at Ebertfest tonight has motivated me to change that immediately. 

For those of you who missed it, those of you who were there and don't really believe it, or who were there and want to re-live it because it was amazing, here are some of my favorite  quotes from this evening's panel. 

Chaz: These thumb trophies were originally cast from Roger's hands, but, this doesn't look like his hand!
del Toro: Is it bigger?

- You can live with me for 30 years, but you won't know me any better than if you watched one of my movies.

- Thank you for coming out to watch an anti-romantic Gothic romance film.

[About making films about things he likes] If you go out to eat with me, I'll pick up the check, but I'll eat most of the stuff. It's the same with my movies, like this, I picked up check, but most of it was for me.

- I don't make eye-candy, I make eye-protein. My stuff has substance.

- This movie cost about $60mill...$55 after rebate. It's Canada, they have a rebate there. They're so civilized.

- [About the gender-nonconforming ending of two women killing each other in anger without catfighting] I wanted to show the two sides of love just beating the shit out of each other.

- I don't want to deconstruct the things that I love, I want to re-construct the genres that I love. I'm the most unironic motherfucker that there is.

- All my movies are autobiographical in some way. Believe me though, I haven't killed anyone. I'm not the spawn of satan, as far as I know.

- [Regarding being offered superhero franchises and turning them down] 
You can't fuck without a boner!

That last one has already been tweeted and re-tweeted thousands of times, I'm sure, but it bears repeating. 

But the best moment for me was after someone began a question by thanking him for coming out with the film, and he interrupted momentarily. I can't quote it exactly, and I won't do it justice, but the jist was that the director doesn't typically like watching his film in front of an audience. He said it was like dancing the lambada in his underwear and feeling like he should have gone to the gym more often. But he went on to say that for this festival, with this audience, we made him feel something that he hadn't felt since the first time he went to Disneyland as a kid, and he thanked us. 

Pretty sure we're the ones in his debt, especially for that goldmine of blue-language memories, but it's kind of nice that the impact is felt in both directions.

Thank you, Mr. del Toro, for my favorite Ebertfest experience, too. 

Image by Eric Althoff