Friday, November 20, 2009

Tim Burton Exhibition At Museum of Modern Art

Starting on November 22nd, the Museum of Modern Art in New York is hosting an exhibition celebrating the work of director Tim Burton. While I've loved some of his movies (Ed Wood, Nightmare Before Christmas), I've been really underwhelmed by others (Sleepy Hollow, Sweeney Todd). But I almost always find his unique artistic sensibility (part "goth" horror; part whimsical, big-eyed vulnerability) intriguing and strangely compelling. And he reputedly does much of the pre-production concept artwork for his films himself. So I really wish that I could check out this exhibit.

Since it hasn't opened yet, the news focussed on the VIP gala held last night, and all the celebrities in attendance, including Johnny Depp. That doesn't interest me at all. But China's state-run television did a 2 minute piece on it (in English) for their international channel, CCTV9, that focussed on the substance of the exhibit, which I found interesting on a number of levels. You can reach it by clicking HERE.
Because I have always liked his unique artistic vision, I've repeatedly welcomed news that Tim Burton's next project might be an adaptation of some existing property that I already love. That's happened several times over the years. But I've found the resulting films to be a decidedly mixed bag, ranging from the phenomenal (1989's Batman), to the merely disappointing (2001's Planet of the Apes), to the totally unwatchable (1996's Mars Attacks!). At left is a Tim Burton concept drawing of the comic book villain Brainiac from this MoMA exhibition. He did this when he was set to direct Superman Returns. Looking at that drawing, I must admit that I am glad he didn't make that movie in the end, even more so since he reportedly wanted Pierce Brosnan to play Brainiac.

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