I love this 20:07 image from Edward Scissorhands I’ve always loved the way Edward embodies all things Burtonian and yet he’s in this very pastel environment for most of the film. In this still he's in Kim's bedroom, the girl he'll soon fall for. It’s such a great juxtaposition --a perfect visual foreshadowing of the most famous dialogue exchange later on:
Kim: Hold me.The environment may be soft but it’s hard on Edward. He’s all uncomfortable sharp edges. The irony being that Edward is himself deeply squishy and huggable on the inside.
Edward: I can’t.
Tim Burton is on the brain due to that Cinema's Demon Barber Event on Wednesday. I thought I’d share a few anecdotes not involving a certain Sondheim musical since some readers asked.
The initial Burton clipreel provoked a lot more smiling nostalgia that I expected. T’was a great reminder that he’s consistently been one of the most fun filmmakers to ever contribute to the medium (“fun” being a major compliment). Dialogue snippets from the film were obviously chosen for their correlation to the man behind the curtain. Lines like "Gentlemen, let's broaden our minds", "We are dealing with a madman here", "People fear the unusual", and "visions are worth fighting for" (yet the editors were smart enough to include “I am Catwoman. Hear me roar” which made no sense in context but who can get enough of Pfeiffer’s line readings in that film? Not I!)
They divided the evenings clips up into three sections: Blockbusters -- in which they discussed the effects heavy films and/or smash hits, Animation --in which they discussed the short films which put his name on Hollywood tongues many moons ago plus the feature toons, and Collaboration with Johnny Depp -- in which they discussed the rest of the filmography (Johnny’s in just shy of half of his films)
Some notes of interest from the evening:
- During the blockbuster section, Burton reminded us that Hollywood didn’t always think in terms of “franchise” and “fast food tie-ins” and the only ground rule for the original Batman was “make it successful” –that got a big laugh.
- He seemed to have mixed feelings about Batman Returns but mentioned that he was proud to have made a movie where a major character licks themselves and that while making it he was entirely focused on the animals (The Penguin and Catwoman).
- The interviewer was doing that annoying thing interviewers do at these events where they try to be overly kind about a critical failure. Burton was much more direct about the disappointment that was his Planet of the Apes remake. He said with some defeat in his voice ‘it made money. But that’s not why you make movies.’ He made it because “I was lured by talking apes” His final thought: "I tried"
- He knew of Pee Wee before they made Big Adventure and that his job there was different than it’s been on other pictures. The character was already created: He just had to provide the world Pee Wee could live in.
- He once worked on Disney's Fox and the Hound. While he worked there it was "a dead place." He mentioned that the talent was amazing (John Lasseter, Henry Selick, Brad Bird were mentioned by name) but nothing was happening. That nothing gave him freedom to make Vincent.
- He felt bad for other filmmakers after Ed Wood bombed because he had to talk everyone into letting him make it --he knew that the failure would prevent other black and white pictures from getting the greenlight.
- Though he started as an artist, he storyboards less and less. He’s more interested in collaborating with the actors and seeing what happens.
- The audience at the event loved the conversation about Sleepy Hollow. He reminded us that this was before Pirates of the Caribbean. He knew that though people liked Johnny and him, there was a feeling of "duck and cover --here comes another bomb." He said that Johnny wanted to look like the Disney animated Ichabod with a huge nose but the studio was against it. The compromise: 'Johnny you can’t wear the nose but OK, OK you can play the hero like a 13 year old girl.'
On that amusing note, let's wrap up. These are my favorite Burton films:
1 Edward Scissorhands
2 Pee Wee’s Big Adventure
3 Ed Wood
4 Batman Returns
5 Mars Attacks
Share yours in the comments.