Monday, October 25, 2010

People We Covet: Tim Burton

No conversation about Halloween is complete without at least a passing reference to one of the most beloved filmmakers of all time: Tim Burton.

Burton graduated from Cal Arts in 1979, and ever since then--from his time as an animator at Disney to today--he's been camping it up with his dark humor and very distinct vision. His most obviously Halloween-y projects, Sleepy Hollow and The Nightmare Before Christmas, are, of course, classics of this holiday. But his other, equally morbid efforts, such as Corpse Bride, Beetlejuice, and Edward Scissorhands, are interesting films to view in October, dealing as they do with mortality and identity.

Even his "non-Burton" films (specifically Batman and Big Fish) are very much his own, both in scale and substance. After all, he's terribly gifted when it comes to telling stories about outsiders and freaks, and especially finding the humanity in those characters. If you ever doubt that, go watch Ed Wood and take a minute to consider the respect shown to such an unfortunate guy not only by the beautiful man who plays him (that would be, of course, Johnny Depp) but most especially the man who directed the film.

Besides, how can you not like someone whose work spawned an animated series featuring a French body-building skeleton? (Skip ahead to about 1:15 in the video.) 

Image via here.


PS By the way, it is spectacularly difficult to find a picture of Burton in which he doesn't look completely insane, but I hope the one above suffices!

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