Daily Archives: August 25, 2010

Tim Burton: Director Par Excellence

Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd

Today is the birthday of film auteur Tim Burton, one the finest directors of “mainstream” movies over the last 20 years.  Mr. Burton has many fans here at the library and you may count me among them.  If it’s been a while since you’ve seen some of Burton’s films, or if you haven’t had a chance to see his latest, Alice in Wonderland, here’s a list of which ones libraries throughout the county have for your enjoyment:

Are there some dogs on this list?  You betcha.  But, as with any great artist, what is a dog for me may be a winner for you. 

Whenever I think of this axiom, I always recall Gary Larson’s comic The Far Side. I remember many a morning looking in the paper and thinking, huh, and my partner laughing hysterically and, of course, vice versa,  a certain sign of true genius if ever there was one.  Hate Burton’s remake of Planet of the Apes?  Not me, I thought it was solid.  Love Mars Attacks!? Go soak your head, you must be oxygen deprived.

You get the idea.

Besides Ed Wood (Plan 9, anyone?) and Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (“There’s no basement at the Alamo”),  Tim Burton won my heart with his casting of Vincent Price as the Inventor in Edward Scissorhands, one of Burton’s finest films. During the filming Price was suffering from an illness which deprived him of his magnificent voice and would later claim his life, but Burton managed to convey with great dignity what a true treasure of the American cinema Vincent Price was.  The gleam in Price’s eye, his beautiful visage, and alluring smile  make this one of the finest, most moving homages in popular film, as well as just a plain nifty scene in a sophisticated, entertaining movie.

– Don

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