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100 Essential Directors - Tim Burton

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Monday, Aug 8, 2011
by Aaron Leggo
100 Essential Directors celebrates directors of distinct vision, who have honed their respective crafts, who have brought something new and exciting to the medium, and who continue to push the boundaries of the form.

The look of a Tim Burton movie is unmistakable and he has managed to define a unique style (a sort of decrepit, fantastical exaggeration of something recognizable) in nearly all facets of his cinematic designs. He tends to favour a polarizing colour palette, with dark blues and greys being offset by splashes of red or a rainbow of pastels. He did employ a black-and-white approach for his biopic about cult classic filmmaker and tragic figure Ed Wood (his most grounded film to date and quite possibly his best, too), but he rarely strays from his iconic blend of gothic darkness and whimsical brightness (see the deceptively dark summer blockbuster Batman Returns [1992] for one of the best examples of this). Burton’s strict adherence to a singular style may feel repetitive in later movies, but his overall filmography reveals a gifted storyteller with a slightly demented Willy Wonka-esque flavor all his own.


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Tim Burton’s sweet little film about art and identity doesn’t demand enjoyment of Margaret Keane's big-eyed waifs, but instead an appreciation of her sincerity and expression.
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When movies are mediocre, they're maddening. But when they are as bad as the selections here, you can't help but question the artform's overall validity.
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Ed Wood's life was a colorful one full of intriguing secondary characters, stunning self-delusion, and a heartbreaking friendship with washed-up horror actor Bela Lugosi. That's why this is a great movie.
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Tim Burton's adaptation of Dark Shadows is a fun 90-minute ride followed by 30 minutes of ennui.

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