What do you eat with movies like “Edward Scissorhands,” “Fargo” and “The Artist”?
Photo credit: Big Thoughts from a Small Mind
Dinner and movies go together as well as international waters and underground cat fighting rings. Which doesn’t really make sense, if you think about it, what with movies being all attention grabbing and stuff, and dinner requiring attention in order to ensure food reaching mouth/not choking to death. But thankfully for both of us, you don’t have to think about it, because Sundance pays me to, so one of those darned thinkin’ headaches averted.
As part of the Tim Burton show at the MOMA (showing through April 26th), they are exhibiting a series of films called “Tim Burton and the Lurid Beauty of Monsters.” These are films that according to the MOMA staff have “… influenced, inspired, and intrigued Burton, and which reflect the motifs, themes, and sensibilities of his work.” Just scanning the list of monsters, mummies and evil villains, one of them caught my eye. THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, a landmark German Expressionist film directed by Robert Wiene in 1920. One of my favorite early films, it’s a visual journey into a bold and hyper non-realistic world, with geometrical and striking high contrast sets. The backgrounds are often absurd and light and shadows are painted on walls and floors. It’s as if we’ve stepped into an insane but brilliant artist’s point of view. No wonder Burton was inspired by this film.
Tim Burton fans came out in droves to the opening of his retrospective yesterday at MoMA. Dressed in red and black stripes and lace and crazy hats – even painted on stitches – they were hard to miss. And with the massive collection of drawings, set pieces and video I doubt they left disappointed. To get to the actual exhibit you have to walk through the mouth of one of Burton’s classic freak show creations, down a hallway lit only by TV screens playing his animated series “The World of Stainboy.” At the end of the hallway is a dark room lit by black-lights where some of his glow-in-the-dark pieces are on display.