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Tim Burton (1958 - )

Lifespan: 1958 -

Related: American cinema - director


Tim Burton (born August 25, 1958 in Burbank, California) is a film director known for his dark, humorous, quirky style. He started his career as a Disney animator and all his films portray a very stylized reality. Many of his films draw on gothic themes.

He is married to the British actress Helena Bonham-Carter. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Burton [Aug 25]

Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985) - Tim Burton

  1. Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985) - Tim Burton [Amazon.com]
    Former animator Tim Burton made his feature directorial debut with this delightful comedy, coscripted by the late Phil Hartman (who also appears briefly as a reporter). Wisely, they keep the story simple so as to concentrate on the characters: Pee-wee's most prized possession, his shiny new bicycle, is stolen, and he sets off on an obsessive cross-country journey, determined to recover it. Pee-wee's awkward and childish attempts to be cool and mature ("I meant to do that!!") are hysterical, as when he tells his girlfriend (Elizabeth Daly): "There's things about me you don't know, Dottie. Things you wouldn't understand. Things you couldn't understand. Things you shouldn't understand.... I'm a loner, Dottie. A rebel." Look for Saturday Night Live vet Jan Hooks in a hilarious bit as a tour guide at the Alamo. And beware of Large Marge! --Jim Emerson, amazon.com

Edward Scissorhands (1990) - Tim Burton

  1. Edward Scissorhands (1990) - Tim Burton [Amazon.com]
    Edward Scissorhands achieves the nearly impossible feat of capturing the delicate flavor of a fable or fairy tale in a live-action movie. The story follows a young man named Edward (Johnny Depp), who was created by an inventor (Vincent Price, in one of his last roles) who died before he could give the poor creature a pair of human hands. Edward lives alone in a ruined Gothic castle that just happens to be perched above a pastel-colored suburb inhabited by breadwinning husbands and frustrated housewives straight out of the 1950s. One day, Peg (Dianne Wiest), the local Avon lady, comes calling. Finding Edward alone, she kindly invites him to come home with her, where she hopes to help him with his pasty complexion and those nasty nicks he's given himself with his razor-sharp fingers. Soon Edward's skill with topiary sculpture and hair design make him popular in the neighborhood--but the mood turns just as swiftly against the outsider when he starts to feel his own desires, particularly for Peg's daughter Kim (Winona Ryder). Most of director Tim Burton's movies (such as Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Batman) are visual spectacles with elements of fantasy, but Edward Scissorhands is more tender and personal than the others. Edward's wild black hair is much like Burton's, suggesting that the character represents the director's own feelings of estrangement and co-option. Johnny Depp, making his first successful leap from TV to film, captures Edward's childlike vulnerability even while his physical posture evokes horror icons like the vampire in Nosferatu and the sleepwalker in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Classic horror films, at their heart, feel a deep sympathy for the monsters they portray; simply and affectingly, Edward Scissorhands lays that heart bare. --Bret Fetzer for amazon.com

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) - Henry Selick

  1. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) - Henry Selick [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    For those who never thought Disney would release a film in which Santa Claus is kidnapped and tortured, well, here it is! The full title is Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, which should give you an idea of the tone of this stop-action animated musical/fantasy/horror/comedy. It is based on characters created by Burton, the former Disney animator best known as the director of Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and the first two Batman movies. His benignly scary-funny sensibility dominates the story of Halloweentown resident Jack Skellington (voice by Danny Elfman, who also wrote the songs), who stumbles on a bizarre and fascinating alternative universe called ... Christmastown! Directed by Henry Selick (who later made the delightful James and the Giant Peach), this PG-rated picture has a reassuringly light touch. As Roger Ebert noted in his review, "some of the Halloween creatures might be a tad scary for smaller children, but this is the kind of movie older kids will eat up; it has the kind of offbeat, subversive energy that tells them wonderful things are likely to happen." --Jim Emerson for Amazon.com

Ed Wood (1994) - Tim Burton

  1. Ed Wood (1994) - Tim Burton [Amazon.com]
    Edward D. Wood Jr. was an actor writer-director-producer, occasionally in drag, who combined meager bursts of talent with an undying optimism to create some of the most bizarrely memorable "B" movies to ever come out of Tinseltown. Though Wood died in obscurity as an alcoholic in 1978, his films have been considered cult classics for years. He is consistently voted the worst director who ever lived. You would think this an odd subject, but director Tim Burton harnesses the undying hopefulness that made Wood such a character. Shot in black and white, just like Wood's creations, this stylized, witty production captures the poetic absurdity of Wood's films and his unconventional life. Burton's recreation of Wood's wonderfully awful Plan 9 from Outer Space looks much better than the original low-budget quickie. Burton tackled an extremely strange subject matter for a biopic, but Wood is presented as naive almost to the point of delusion, so the story works. The pace sags in the middle, as the weirdness starts to wear thin, but Depp proves himself an adroit actor, even while wearing angora and a blonde wig. Wood's unconventional repertoire company is faithfully reproduced, including an Academy Award-winning Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi. Landau is pathetic, droll, and charismatic as the elderly junkie who made his last screen appearances in Wood's films. --Rochelle O'Gorman for amazon.com

    Edward Davis Wood
    Edward Davis Wood, Junior (October 10, 1924 - December 10, 1978) was a filmmaker known for a series of movies derided (or heralded, depending on one's fondness for kitsch) as "the worst of all time." He is probably the best-known maker of B-movies, famed for his ultra-low budget horror, science fiction and cowboy motion pictures. After extensive critical and commercial failure, he ended his career making pornography and writing schlock transvestite-themed novels drawing from his own fetishes.

    Wood's posthumous fame began two years after his death, when he was awarded a Golden Turkey Award for being the worst director of all time. Today, he is generally respected by film scholars and historians not for his talent, which has so far not undergone any kind of critical re-appraisal, but for his evident zeal and honest love of movies and movie production. The very lack of conventional filmmaking ability in his work has earned him and his films a considerable cult following. Some of his films have been lampooned on the television series Mystery Science Theater 3000, which has given those works wider exposure. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Wood%2C_Jr. [May 2005]

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