Name your favourite Film Director? Yes, many will say Steven Spielberg; Stanley Kubrick; Martin Scorsese; David Fincher or Christopher Nolan, there are so many to choose from, but for us it is easy, it’s Tim Burton!
I can honestly say if he directed the opening of an envelope I would still go to see it. ALL his films are owned by me, I can not think of any other director that I could say this about!
What is special for me, is I can even remember the first time I saw one of his films, way back in the summer of 1988, in fact I can tell you the date 14th August!
I had claimed free tickets for a film called Beetlejuice, I had got tickets from Smash Hits magazine and the Cannon Brighton cinema where the screening was to take place no longer exist, but the film certainly does, and I treasure my ticket which was a Beetlejuice mask!
I had loved the ideas of monsters and ghosts, having been a big fan of the 1984 awesome double bill of Gremlins and Ghostbusters and it would be safe to say, even now the creature feature is probably my favourite genre of film, and Beetlejuice ranks high with them.
Having seen the film, as well as singing Day-O by Harry Belafonte with friends at work, I went to the video store to seek out Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, his feature debut, a crazy adventure which was different to so much I had seen, it was clear why Warner Brothers chose him to direct Beetlejuice.
Having now become a Burton fan, what would happen next, would see me having to share him with the world as his next film was to be Batman, this was to be a box office blockbuster (So sadly, we can possibly blame Tim for the fact that there are so many now)
Interstingly, prior to it being a box office smash, the film was slated for Tim casting his Beetlejuice, Michael Keaton as Batman!
How do you follow Batman, with an incredible story that was Edward Scissorhands, a fantasy fairy tale come love story, it would be the first time Tim would work with the actor, many call his muse Johnny Depp! This film had such a great visual style to it that it has even inspired a ballet!
Again, he followed that with huge success in his only sequel to date (I am not including Frankenweenie from short to feature as if anything that is a remake =) my personal favourite Batman film to date, Batman Returns, Danny Devito as the Penguin and Michelle Pfeiffer at as Catwoman have never been better.
It was due to work on Batman returns, that Tim handed over his story The Nightmare Before Christmas to director Henry Selick. Tim’s style is clear in this amazing stop motion animation film.
It is possibly that this film, not even being directed by him is what most may even know Tim for! Not even Batman, simply due to the amount of pop culture and memorabilia that is around for this film, and in particular, its lead Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King!
What I admire most is that following the monster success of the Batman films, he could have played safe and found another blockbuster to direct. Instead he next went for a black and white biopic of the director of Plan 9 from outer space, which brought us Johnny Depp as Ed Wood and Martin Landau in his Oscar winning role as Bela Lugosi.
Recently on Facebook, I was tagged to name my 5 top films of all time, I had to have a Tim Film and it was Ed Wood I chose, I love all his films but this one just blew me away, so much so I have since seen most of Ed Wood’s films
It was his next film which seemed to maybe lose him some of his fans, the film that would reunite him with his Joker, Jack Nicholson, was Mars Attacks, a great throwback to early sci fi and little green men. I personally love this film despite what others may say, in fact when I first saw it, I probably annoyed everyone with my constant Martian chanting of Ack! Ack! Ack!
Sleepy Hollow came next, Tim was back with Johnny Depp and this was a fantastic original film about an investigation into the Headless Horseman and has now even inspired a TV series
Next, would be Planet of the Apes remake, not his strongest film, but with the exception of Ted, the only Mark Wahlberg film I own, so certainly not awful. This film seems to be as hated almost as much as the new Ghostbusters trailer, yet I have no idea why, its visually fantastic, granted it may not be as good as the original or even the 2 most recent reboots, but it is in no way a bad film.
Tim, perhaps steering clear from franchises, followed the Apes with an adaptation of Daniel Wallace’s fantastic book of tall tales, Big Fish, having already loved the book having read prior to seeing the film, it was great to see it in safe hands.
Next was the remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, again, like Apes. with so much love for the Gene Wilder adaptation, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, this is widely hated and felt not necessary. I found it to be more faithful to the book and loved it, perhaps more so than the original! Depp also does not deserve the amount of hate he got for his Wonka!I certainly enjoy both versions for different reasons
Stop motion film The Corpse Bride and Sweeney Todd an opera would follow. Alice in Wonderland would give him his biggest box office hit to date and film remake of the classic TV series Dark Shadows, with a great cast, also was a lot of fun. Sadly all 4 of these films seem to be disliked and knifes even seemed to turn on Tim and Johnny Depp saying their combination was getting boring?
Frankenweenie, a homage to classic black and white B movie films and a biopic of painter, Margaret Keane, Big Eyes that have since followed are both brilliant films! Big Eyes was also the first Tim film that my wife enjoyed so that is high praise indeed!
For me, Tim certainly is at his best when making original films rather than reboots or remakes and I can not wait for his next film, an adaptation of a fantastic children’s book |I read as soon as it was announced he was onboard to direct, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (follow us on Facebook as any news on the film we will surely share)
After that, a sequel to Beetlejuice or a live action remake of Dumbo are rumoured to follow, but whatever he decides to do next, you can rest assured, come opening day I will be there!
Whose your favourite director? Do you have a favourite Tim Burton film? We would love to hear from you here at Barking Mad About Films
Never miss a BMAF blog. Receive email notifications when new posts are published by entering your email address in the subscription box on the top right-hand side of this page.