Late July and early August can be a discombobulating stretch for many people around Southern California.
On the one hand, it is impressively hot, and growing ever hotter, and we begin seeking out the sort of summer clothes we saw advertised during the June Gloom days (but didn't especially need then).
And yet? Nightfall is earlier, notably so, and Halloween's pumpkiny hues are beginning to creep onto our store shelves.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Enter horror auteur Guillermo del Toro, with an elegant sense of perfect, and perfectly chilling, timing. A new exhibition devoted to the director's "creative process" and "collection of paintings, drawings, maquettes, artifacts, and concept film art" is debuting at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and just in time to dovetail with our first longings for fall.
Monday, Aug. 1 is the exhibit's official debut date at the Miracle Mile museum, but Mr. del Toro has a spine-shivery surprise in store for fans: He'll sign catalogues for "Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters" on the eve of the eve of the eve of the show's opening.
"The eve of the eve of the eve of"=Friday, July 29, of course (and of course that phrasing is the sort of lush unfolding of words one hopes for from an old-style scary film).
Should you choose to purchase a book written by the director, and not the catalogue, know that that's a-okay, too. He'll sign it. (Purchases may be made at the LACMA store, and, indeed, the book should come from LACMA.)
The Pavilion for Japanese Art is the place, and early evening, from 5 to 6:30 p.m., is the time. Attending? It's frightfully free.
And ponder how early evening is truly the utmost hour for celebrating the beautiful eerieness that Mr. del Toro has perfected over his years creating movies like "Pan's Labyrinth" and "Crimson Peak."
Harder horror kind of rocks the midnight realm, but a creeping horror, much like a twisting tendril of poison ivy, belongs to that time just before sundown, when night is fast on approach.
And nightfall is approaching earlier these post-summer solstice days. It's clearly time for something a bit terrifying, and terrific, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.