Thursday, August 25, 2011

Happy Birthday! Tim Burton 1958

Timothy Walter Burton (born August 25, 1958) is an American film director, film producer, writer and artist. He is famous for dark, quirky-themed movies such as Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and for blockbusters such as Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Batman, Batman Returns, Planet of the Apes, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland, his most recent film, that was the second highest-grossing film of 2010 as well as the sixth highest-grossing film of all time. Among Burton's many collaborators are Johnny Depp, who became a close friend since their first film together, musician Danny Elfman (who has composed for all but five of the films Burton has directed and/or produced) and domestic partner Helena Bonham Carter. He also wrote and illustrated the poetry book The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories, published in 1997, and a compilation of his drawings, entitled The Art of Tim Burton, was released in 2009.

Burton has directed 14 films as of 2010, and has produced 10 as of 2009. His next films are an adaptation of the soap opera Dark Shadows, scheduled to be released on May 11, 2012, and a remake of his 1984 short, Frankenweenie, scheduled to be released on October 5, 2012.

Growing up, Burton was a very introspective person, and found his pleasure in painting, drawing and watching movies. His future work would be heavily influenced by the works by Edgar Allan Poe he read, and the horror and science fiction films he watched, such as Godzilla, the films made by Hammer Film Productions, the works of Ray Harryhausen and Vincent Price.

While at Disney in 1982, Burton made his first short, Vincent, a six minute black and white stop motion film based on a poem written by the filmmaker, and depicting a young boy who fantasizes that he is his (and Burton's) hero Vincent Price, with Price himself providing narration.

Vincent is the story of a young boy, Vincent Malloy, who pretends to be like the actor Vincent Price (who narrates the film). He is obsessed with the tales of Edgar Allan Poe, and it is his detachment from reality when reading them that leads to his delusions that he is in fact a tortured artist, deprived of the woman he loves, mirroring certain parts of Poe's "The Raven." The film ends with Vincent being tortured by the goings-on of his make-believe world, quoting "The Raven" as he falls to the floor in frailty, believing himself to be dead.

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