For a brilliant filmmaker like Tim Burton, the recent tribute to him sponsored by the Film Society of Lincoln Center (Fresh Blood: An Evening with Tim Burton) was a bit of a disappointment. FSLC Programming Director, Richard Peña, interviewed him in awkward segments sandwiched between film clips which had been divvied up into various topics like Animation, Collaborations with Johnny Depp, and not so surprisingly, Sweeny Todd. It occurred to me that the evening itself was a signal as to just how heavily his new movie is going to be promoted. An expensive musical version of the hit Broadway play, the movie stars none other than Mr. Depp as the Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Mrs. Burton, Helena Bonham Carter, as Mrs. Lovett. From the few clips I saw at the tribute –according to it’s director, the film is apparently still in in some state of post-production– there’s reason to feel optimistic. Not really knowing much about Johnny Depp’s singing voice, he does a reasonable job considering he is starring in a Stephen Sondheim operetta. No doubt there’s a lot riding on the success of this film and so the early buzz is already circulating.
The main issue I had with the evening was that it was not really the appropriate forum for a larger than life character like Tim Burton. To me, it seemed that he was out of his element through much of the 75 minutes or so that transpired. The questions were fairly superficial and therefore the fans who filled up the Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, didn’t learn much if anything about the esteemed director. Still the cinematic stroll down memory lane was fun and I was reminded about how powerfully effective his images were on the big screen. It’s been almost twenty years since I saw Beetlejuice or Edward Sissorhands and there’s no comparing it to the DVD. His style is big, loud and macabre. The tribute to him might have worked better had it followed suit.
Upcoming special events on the Film Society’s calendar include a special preview screening of Oscar contender Atonement on Tuesday, December 4th and the Society’s annual gala tribute on April 14th, 2008, honoring Meryl Streep.
So apparently I had the junk filter on my blog set a little bit too high and several legitimate comments were deemed junk by the filter and thus were not emailed to me for approval. If the comment is by a legitimate person and not a spam ad for viagra, xanax, online poker, etc. I am generally of a mind to publish them and then respond to them, if needed. Thus, I apologize to Claire, Tully, Dickmac, Manohla Dargis, Richard Schenkman and others whose comments were inadvertently left off the blog. As a bit of a “make good,” I will post them all in full here, complete with links to the original posts and I will, over the next day or so, reply to some of them on the original posts, themselves. Even the following insane, moronic and anti-Semitic rant by “Claire” (whose email address I was extremely tempted to post…):
You stupid kike, CNN was NOT celebrating Castro’s illness, the cubans [sic] in Miami were. Why? Castro has tortured and killed thousands of Cubans during the past 40 years, that is why. CNN was just reporting their joy over that dictator’s possible death. Don’t you dirty jews [sic] have dozens of hollocaust [sic] movies coming out every year? should [sic] people feel happy about concentration camps? should people mourn Hitler’s death? get real asswipe!
From a post entitled: CNN International – Offensive Ghouls
Well Claire, you’re wrong, stupid and a bigot and really, I shouldn’t waste my time responding to anyone who starts a comment with “you stupid kike” and includes the insane ramblings that you do….so I won’t. Engaging people like you in debate is like trying to convince a chair that it’s a butterfly. It’s just not going to happen. Just crawl back into your hole and please…don’t breed. Out of curiosity, does anyone else see the inherant contradiction in someone attacking Castro’s perceived human rights violations while at the same time calling me a “dirty Jew?”
Which brings us to our next comment. Click the link below to see Richard Schenkman’s far more rational, eloquent, educated, reasonable and intelligent response to this post: It’s Time To Go, Joe: An Open Letter To Senator Joe Lieberman and the rest of the comments I missed over the past 6 months or so….
Continue reading Some Great (Some Not) Missing Comments
I love Tim Burton. While yes, it is true that I haven’t seen Big Fish, Planet of the Apes, Corpse Bride or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory …or, um…. Sleepy Hollow, I have seen and very much enjoyed Beetle Juice, Batman, Batman Returns (although not as much as Batman), Ed Wood, Mars Attacks (I really only liked the “Ack! Ack!” bits) and of course, The Nightmare Before Christmas. True, Burton didn’t direct this last one, Henry Selick did, but it is billed as Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas and Burton created the story and characters. I have Tom Hall to thank for that one, as a group of us watched it one chilly October night in East Hampton, while working for that festival.
That’s all fine and good, but one of the films I hadn’t seen until a few nights ago, was Burton’s fourth feature, Edward Scissorhands.
Continue reading The Rabbi’s Holiday Gift List – Edward Scissorhands: 15th Anniversary Edition