What do Charles Foster Kane of Citizen Kane and Michael Corleone of The Godfather have in common beside being portrayed by brilliant actors? Plenty, according to writer Timothy Sexton who presents an intriguing essay detailing the tragic parallels in both characters' lives. To read click here
Cinema Retro columnist Bill Duelly braved the unknown to cover a unique tribute to director Tim Burton in New York City. The maverick director was there to discuss his films and career.
Cinema Retro readers will no doubt be familiar with our
frequent editorial musings regarding the current state of movies and how much
better things were back in the 1960’s & 1970’s.All is not lost however, as Tim Burton is one of the very
few visionaries making unique movies today- and his creativity was largely
inspired by the films that had influence on him during that golden era of
Tim Burton on stage in New York. (Photo copyright Bill Duelly)
On November 14th, Tim Burton made a rare public
appearance at the Film Society of Lincoln Centers’ tribute, “Tim Burton- the
Demon Barber of Cinema”. During the all too brief evening, Burton
was interviewed by Richard Pena, Program Director for the Society for 10-15
minute periods which were then broken up by series of clips from Burton’s movies.The evening was capped off by a 15 minute
preview of three musical sequences from Sweeny
Todd.The evidence is that Burton has done a masterful job of directing another
visual feast – this time centering on seedy old London (he referred to this film has being
similar in spirit to the old B&W horror films).Johnny Depp’s performance of the angry
tortured Sweeny Todd is mesmerizing.Whereas there are the musical sequences, they are not in the vein (pun intended) of your standard musical.They provide an internal glimpse to the
character’s tortured state.
Burton's latest collaboration with Johnny Depp is Sweeney Todd
A welcome treat were the glimpses provided into how Burton likes to work.He has gotten away from storyboarding and is
open to on set improvisation.In fact,
he doesn’t like to rehearse the actors before hand, preferring instead to let
them come to set and deliver their performances in an unaffected manner. On
set, he prefers just that – a set! Wherever possible, he likes full sets to be
built for the actors to perform amidst. This was also true of Charlie & the Chocolate Factory which
featured many impressive sets reminiscent of films of old. In fact, the chocolate mixing set, where we
first see the Oompa Lompas, took up the entire 007 stage at Pinewood.
In hindsight, Burton
had some wonderful anecdotes and observations about his catalogue of films:
Monty Westmore's credits include Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? starring Joan Crawford and Bette Davis.
Veteran makeup artist Monty Westmore has passed away at age 84. His family spawned three generations of revered makeup artists including his father, who worked on Gone With the Wind. Westmore had been Oscar-nominated for Steven Spielberg's Hook and his other film credits include Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and The Towering Inferno. For more click here