They say it’s not show-friends, it’s show business–but tell that to Fey and Poehler, Scorsese and DiCaprio, Franco and Rogen and six other creative teams that prove filmmaking and friendship sometimes go hand in hand.
Photo credit: Flickr: Stefan the Cameraman
Amazingly, Bruce Wayne has donned his Batsuit for the seventh time in a little over 20 years. The role of Batman has become a nouveau-James Bond of sorts, with a grand total of 4 actors portraying him thus far, in films directed by three different men. When the original BATMAN came out in 1989, comic book and superhero films were far from guaranteed successes, since effects and makeup hadn’t quite risen to the standards of what the deliriously imaginative comic creators could come up with. Nevertheless, Tim Burton’s BATMAN was a commercial and (mostly) critical success, enough to ensure delivery of the arguably better sequel BATMAN RETURNS three years later. Fast-forward (remember that?) to 2005, and MEMENTO director Christopher Nolan resuscitated the franchise with the much darker — and more realistic — BATMAN BEGINS, which in turn was also followed by a superior sequel, THE DARK KNIGHT. Pretty much across the board, the newer Batman films are considered to be the most relevant and successful, but there remains a small and embattled contingent of film fans who actively miss the old days of (pre-SLEEPY HOLLOW) Tim Burton.
As Cannes 2011 approaches, it was nice to have the opportunity to see last year’s Palme d’Or winner on the big screen: Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES. Tim Burton was last year’s head of the jury — if you see this film, you’ll see the affinity here – UNCLE is a slow, strange, plot-less journey, relying on visuals and a slow-burn Ozu-like filmmaking that gets better as it goes. The sprinkling of visual surprises feel shocking in comparison to the rest of the material. There are some strange, visceral and unforgettable images, right up Burton’s alley. It’s a real treat in terms of originality — promises abound here that you’ve never seen anything like it before.
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.
It’s a strange thing to reach adulthood and see, for the very first time, a film everyone else saw before they hit puberty. For me that film is PEE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE. I’m not going to lie; When I was a kid, Pee-wee really freaked me out. I thought he was creepy and weird and unnecessarily loud. But as part of Tim Burton’s retrospective, MoMA is screening all of his films, starting last night with PEE-WEE, his 1985 feature film debut. After Paul Reubens saw FRANKENWEENIE (a full-length remake is due out in 2011) he chose Burton to direct PEE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE, which had, until that point, been a stage-show at the Roxy in L.A. and of course, an HBO special.
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.
Think of this as your FULL FRONTAL FASHION cliff notes. Our pick this week in Who_What_Where: Molly, who’s street style is painfully sweet. Tim Burton and Tim Walker team up and give you exactly what you think they would: eerie, beautiful fantasy photos. Lynn Yaeger becomes the ultimate party hopper in a tutu. But when…
Paul Reubens, he of public masturbatory fame, is reviving the character that made him world famous: Pee-wee Herman. Herman started out as a crude stand-up act and then became a popular children’s TV show and a feature film directed by Tim Burton. Beginning in November, Pee-wee will be performing live at the Fonda Theater in Hollywood. And yes, Chairry, Pterri the pterodactyl and Miss Yvonne will be present. Maybe a trip to LA is in order?
This November MoMA will house a major retrospective of Tim Burton’s work. The show, Tim Burton, will showcase his career as a ”director, producer, writer, and concept artist for live-action and animated films, along with his work as a fiction writer, photographer and illustrator.” It will feature his drawings from early childhood through his most current…
As artists continue to draw inspiration from childhood fears and fairy tales, it comes as no surprise that classic stories like Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (more commonly known as Alice in Wonderland) are being tapped. Coming up on the 2010 film lineup is Tim Burton’s much anticipated ALICE IN WONDERLAND with Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter (who else?), Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, and Anne Hathaway as the White Queen. But Burton is hardly the first to put a unique spin on Carroll’s tale. With the first official photographs of WONDERLAND released last week, photographer-extraordinaire Annie Leibovitz’s editorial for Vogue US December 2003 have “resurfaced,” thanks to the efforts of bloggers everywhere.