Sunday, September 23, 2012

Tim Burton

There's a nice interview with Tim Burton in The New York Times, here:

I haven't seen Dark Shadows and don't really want to. I caught about 15-20 minutes of Alice in Wonderland on some channel and turned it off. I still have some faith in Burton. I liked Sweeney Todd and look forward to Frankenweenie. But I think I can pinpoint the exact moment I stopped being a fan: When he chose to do the aliens in Mars Attacks as CGI. That should have been guys in suits! Maybe with some tweaking in CGI. That should never have been a big budget movie. It should have had a low budget, like an Ed Woods film, and then Burton could see if he was able to recreate the poetry of those old horror movies. What I like about the early films - Pee Wee Herman's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands - is that they're not perfect. The special effects are clunky. That's part of the charm! It's strange to think about, that if he had made those movies today, with CGI and possibly in 3D, I'm sure they would be just as ugly as Charlie And The Chocolate Factory was and I would hate them.


  1. That's funny timing. I just saw some of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on the CBC this evening. A lot of it just doesn't look right. My wife commented that the sweets in the factory (like the chocolate river) don't look tantalizing at all--the effects are too creepy and unreal. Also, I don't know why he often invents a fairly simplistic backstory for characters like Willy Wonka and Ichabod Crane. My favourite of his films is Ed Wood--possibly because it's the least Tim Burton-y, and stands out from the others. On the other hand, Big Fish is also not as Tim Burton-y, and I couldn't stand it.

  2. A chocolate river was just bound to look ugly on film. Me too, Ed Wood is my favourite.

  3. Hi Jason, big fan of yours, first post on your blog (just because i still didn't have an account/google+).
    You should give a chance to Dark Shadows, it's a good recreation of a '60s east coast town, (almost) without CGI and with a wonderful soundtrack. It's the best thing he did in the last years IMO.

  4. Thanks, Michele. Okay, will look for the dvd.

  5. Ah! I can't agree more. I want my directors to excite me with visual problem solving while bringing interesting stories to life. I don't want an animator. Animation has its own problems to solve and magic to find.

    I've been worried about Terry Gilliam falling into this same trap. The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus had significantly more CGI if I remember correctly.

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    1. I guess it's hard to avoid in a certain type of films - fantasy or science fiction, like Prometheus, that I for the most part thought looked pretty good. The quality of these images is improving, I must admit. But in the worst cases I think it just leads to lazyness and lack of imagination. Haven't seen the Gilliam film, though.