life and career of an American director

Tim Burton was born August 25, 1958 in Burbank, California., it is there that many well-known companies and production houses, television networks and film studios are based. Tim himself described himself as an introverted boy, not particularly fond of either the school or the place where he lived, but soon his interests include drawing and painting, and an interest in old B-movies, especially horror. I also enjoy making small home movies in Super8, thus taking the first steps behind the camera; after graduation, he went on to study at the California Institute of the Arts, a famous university also founded by Walt Disney, where the young Burton made short animated films, which earned him a place as an apprentice in the Disney animation sector: like himself, he, however, later said that he he never manages to adapt to Disney’s style, instead having a fondness for the more whimsical, imperfect, dark and melancholic imagery that would later become his trademark.

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Start behind the camera

Tim Burton makes his feature film directorial debut with a version of the famous fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. Hansel and Gretel performed entirely by Japanese actors, in the Disney Channel Halloween Night TV special in 1983. He then made a medium length film. Frankenweenie (1984), dark tale inspired by Frankenstein Mary Shelley, black and white, starring Barret Oliver (Bastian de Endless story), Shelley Duvall (shining) and Daniel Stern (the thief Marv from Mom, I missed the plane), a film which, however, marked the end of a partnership with Disney, which considers it unsuitable for family audiences.

Tim Burton’s first cinematic successes

His feature film directorial debut comes from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985), starring a popular character played by the (recently deceased) actor Paul Reubens, who in this adventure comedy travels across America in search of his favorite bicycle stolen from him: the film was appreciated by critics and the public alike, and over the years will become cult, but in the near future it will still serve as the start of Tim Burton’s career as a film director.
Then comes the horror comedy beetle juice (1988) (from clumsy and misleading Italian subtitle Sprite piglet), starring Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Michael Keaton, Catherine O’Hara and a very young Winona Ryder; a film that already contains many of those elements and the spirit that distinguishes Tim Burton cinema, succeeds, becoming a little classic (from which we are often reminded especially of the scene accompanied by the famous Song Day-Oh The Banana Boat Harry Belafonte).

Batman and Comic Book Entry

Burton, now seen as a successful director to bet on, is hired by Warner Bros. for a highly desirable and potentially risky project: Batman (1989) Michael Keaton plays the famous bat-winged vigilante, although the focus is on the Joker, played by movie legend Jack Nicholson; the film is a success and becomes the blockbuster of the year, and thus Burton is confirmed as the director of the sequel. Batman Returns (1992), which added Michelle Pfeiffer, Danny DeVito and Christopher Walken to the Keaton cast, among others. This movie also hits the screens, but both chapters are often criticized as “too dark” (although, as repeatedly noted later, they are considered more similar to the tone adopted in the saga, for example, with the Batman trilogy). Christopher Nolan’s signature). Years later, Burton would be asked to direct a new film. Superman starring Nicolas Cage, but after much discussion, the project fell through, much to the director’s dismay.

Tim Burton, great creative connections

Nowadays it’s hard to think about Tim Burton’s career without remembering, almost instinctively, the name Johnny Depp: in fact, a very strong partnership was born between the director and the actor first of all human, but also artistic, which made them work together again and again, giving life to some films that have rightfully entered the history of cinema; their collaboration began with Edward Scissorhands (1990), a gentle dark tale in which Burton preferred Depp to actors of the caliber of Tom Cruise, successfully entrusting him with the role of the melancholy Edward carving bushes and ice statues with blades instead of hands, opposed and ostracized by a society that does not welcome otherwise (the film is still considered one of the most representative in the poetics of the director).

Then it comes Ed Wood (1994), a film about the director of the same name, defined as “the worst of all time” and for this reason has become a cult: it is a project especially dear to Burton, and which in his hands becomes an anomalous biopic, shot in black and white, between reality and a reimagining of the facts, which is critically acclaimed but remains a niche product at the box office.
Johnny Depp is always the protagonist Sleepy Hollow Mystery (1999), a gothic horror inspired by Washington Irving’s short story set in the late 18th century, which also pays homage to the glorious old horror films so beloved by the director, such as the films under the Hammer brand, and which sees another main character, a young, but already veteran of the genre, Christina Ricci. The film was a success with the public, but the subsequent collaboration between Burton and Depp turned out even better. Chocolate Factory (2005) from Roald Dahl’s children’s classic of the same name, a tale of cynicism that is both pleasing to the eye with colorful and elaborate sets that depict the world of sweets and sugar of the enigmatic Willy Wonka; There are also musicals with Oompa Loompa songs in the film, and Burton dives completely into this genre, and then with Sweeney Todd – Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), an adaptation of the musical of the same name by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler, which stars Depp opposite Helena Bonham Carter, a very dark revenge story set in drab Victorian London.

Depp played the role of the Mad Hatter. Alice in Wonderland (2010), film adaptation of the novel by Lewis Carroll; the film, while not completely convincing to critics, was a major economic success (also due to its use of 3D) and contributed to the live-action revival of well-known fairy tales and fantasy.

It was also a mixed reception. dark shadows (2012), a horror comedy adapted from the popular 1960s soap opera of the same name, the film, considered one of the minor films in the director’s cinematography, lives up to its visual style but has a weak plot.

Another very important collaboration was with actress Helena Bonham Carter.for many years the life partner of the director who first cast her in science fiction. planet of the apes (2001), a remake of the 1968 classic based on the novel of the same name; Tim then wanted her to play a double role in the next film. Big fish (2003), one of the director’s most beloved works, which at the time represented a partial change in genre and style for him, as he tried his hand at this story of family ties halfway between realism and fairy tale. Helena also appears in the director’s subsequent films up until dark shadows.
There are also other actors and actresses who have worked with the director several times, among which we can mention Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Eva Green, Christopher Leeand these are just some of them, although he is certainly one of his closest collaborators composer Danny Elfman, who wrote music for almost all of his films.whose music with an often recognizable imprint has become one of the most beloved elements among fans.

Tim Burton, passion for animation

Tim Burton has always had a special connection with the world of animation, especially stop-motion, the so-called stop traffic: one of his first short films was Vincent (1982), a story inspired by Edgar Allan Poe and narrated by one of the director’s idols, actor Vincent Price, a horror movie legend; then there is his signature (although he did not direct it) on The nightmare before christmas (1993), a small masterpiece whose characters are still iconic, a dark and romantic tale that is also a musical (Italian voice of protagonist Jack by Renato Zero) while Burton then also directs (along with Mike Johnson) Corpse Bride (2005), a gothic-sentimental tale inspired by a folk story. In addition, in 2012, Burton himself directed a stop-motion feature film based on his work. Frankenweenie twenty eight years ago.

Stories for the little ones (and not only)

In recent years, Burton’s career has been focused on films aimed primarily at a very young audience: in addition to those already mentioned Alice in Wonderlandhe led Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016), based on a children’s novel starring a group of teenagers with paranormal powers, followed by live action from another Disney classic, Dumbo (2019), again a story dedicated to Tim’s favorite freaks. In addition, the director was indirectly one of the main characters of the last television season, being an executive producer and director of four episodes of the series. Wednesdaya Netflix series focusing on a teenage daughter from the Addams family with dark braids and an even darker character, which became one of the triumphs of the public and streaming critics, immediately becoming a cult, with images of Jenna Ortega’s school dance (the main character), which has been going on for several weeks going crazy on social media.

Future projects

It is currently under construction beetlejuice sequel, which will return some of the original cast with the addition of Jenna Ortega as Lydia’s (Winona Ryder) daughter from the first film, as well as our Monica Bellucci, who will play Beetlejuice’s wife. Moreover, one of them has already been confirmed. second season From Wednesdayeven if the possible participation of Burton in the filming is not yet known in detail.

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