Tag Archives: Tim Burton

[Festive Friday] The Nightmare Before Christmas

It’s that time of the week again – Festive Friday! In the spotlight this week is a musical masterpiece directed by Henry Selick, The Nightmare Before Christmas.

IMDb: “Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but doesn’t quite understand the concept.”

The film oozes Tim Burton, which is unsurprising as he co-wrote and co-produced it. It is very much an ‘alternative’ Christmas film, and features unique, intriguing characters like Jack, Dr Finklestein and the fabulous Oogie Boogie.

While there are other films that might make you feel more Christmassy, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a stunning film that features first class stop-motion animation and will always be a festive favourite at Cinematic Delights HQ.

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Cannes Film Festival 2010

An important date in any film lover’s diary, the 63rd Festival de Cannes will be happening 12-23 May 2010. During the two weeks thousands of movie folk are expected to attend with the BBC estimating that 10,000 film industry people and 4,000 journalists will be there. 

What are the highlights of this year’s festival? 

Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood will be opening the festival, with stars Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett expected to attend. Other films making an appearance during the festival include: Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Woody Allen’s You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger and Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. The closing film will be Julie Bertuccelli’s The Tree which is an adaptation of Judy Pascoe’s novel, Our Father Who Art in the Tree and starring Marton Csokas and Charlotte Gainsborough. 

As well as hosting film screenings and providing the perfect backdrop for photographs of beautiful actresses in beautiful dresses, Cannes is also a prestigious awards ceremony. The President of the Jury this year is Tim Burton, who has been described by Thierry Fremaux, Delegate General of the Cannes Film Festival, as standing mid-way between art-house cinema and popular cinema. 

Other figures making up the feature film jury include British actress Kate Beckinsale, Puerto Rican actor Benicio del Toro and Alberto Barbera, Director of the National Museum of Cinema in Italy. 

The grand prize is the Palme D’Or which is the highest award for competiting films. Previous winners include Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver in 1976, Francis Ford Coppola’s  Apocalypse Now in 1979, Ethan and Joel Coen’s Barton Fink in 1991, Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction in 1994 and Roman Polanski’s The Pianist in 2002.

One of the world’s oldest and prestigious film festivals, Cannes is a perfect location for Hollywood’s crème de la crème. Reminiscent of a glorious past with its beach front location in the south of France, Cannes also serves as the showcase for European film.

Held in conjunction with the festival, the Cannes Feature Market provides opportunity for movie producers to sell their film to a major distribution company for national or worldwide release. Advice from the Australian Film Commission says: “The experience of being in Cannes is a crash course in seeing your work in a world context with a very serious film culture and in an amazing and cut throat market all at once.”

With the festival taking place in a matter of days, all eyes will be on Cannes to see who wins – and who wears – what. With the weather calmed down after freak storms earlier this week, let’s hope that the 63rd festival will be a roaring success.

Spotlight: frequent collaborators

Three days. In just three days time Alice In Wonderland will be hitting the screen and in honour of the latest, and seventh, Burton / Depp combination, I’ve decided to take a look at some of Hollywood’s most frequent collaborators courtesy of much digging about on IMDb:

  • Quentin Tarantino and Samuel L. Jackson = 4 films
  • Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks = 4 films
  • Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio = 4 films (+ 4 in development)
  • Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter = 6 films
  • Coen brothers and Steve Buscemi = 6 films
  • Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney = 7 films (3 in same series)
  • Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro = 8 films (+ 1 set to be released in 2011)

While this list is in no way exhaustive (I don’t know the names of every film director and I haven’t included collaborators who were working in the same film series) it does get me thinking as to why the actors choose to work with the same directors.

Taking Johnny Depp and Tim Burton as an example, their first foray together was in Edward Scissorhands back in 1990. Since then both Depp and Burton have both been nominated for an Oscar (Burton = Best Animated Feature Film of the Year for Corpse Bride and Depp = Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Finding Neverland and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street).

Depp has gone on to work as a pirate, an astronaut and Willy Wonka. Burton on the other hand has continued to make films in the style he is now famous for: dark and quirky with a magical and, sometimes, sinister edge.

So why does Depp keep coming back to Burton’s bizarre world? While actors try their hands at anything, when it comes to being masters of one specific trade, directors have their own personal brand of movie magic. Burton is the Emperor of the Eccentric and Depp clearly loves working with him.

On the subject of Depp and Burton’s relationship, Jonathan Ross on his Friday night television show on 28 February said: “This partnership clearly works. It is clearly something that you both feel comfortable with but you do still make films with other people.” Burton explained how he will always go to Depp if he feels the part is right and thinks he would like it.

So, for a partnership which has lasted for 20 years, to create and make new films which always have a dedicated following is really something. Take for instance Alice, even if I didn’t already love the story I would still want to see it for the simple reason that it is another Depp and Burton combination. After making him sing, dance and act with scissors for hands, I look forward to seeing what Depp/Burton brings after Alice.

Spotlight: Through Burton’s looking glass

I have lost count of the amount of times I have seen the trailer for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland: I cannot wait to see it.

Set to be released on 5 March it features, if you haven’t already heard, Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, Anne Hathaway as the White Queen, Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen and relative newcomer Mia Wasikowska as Alice.

Quite a few stills have been released and they look fantastic. Vivid colours, bizarre characters and excellent costumes mean that the stakes are high and Burton is promising a lot. Wired magazine has lots of articles about Alice including an in-depth look at the Cheshire Cat. The Cheshire Cat is a very memorable character in the original stories and in the Disney classic I must admit I was quite scared of it. Looking back now, as a “grown-up” 21-year-old, the Cheshire Cat is highly intriguing. Able to disappear and reappear at will, he is very mysterious, especially with his philosophical questions to Alice.

In one of the stills, the Cheshire Cat appears in the sky with turquoise eyes, a big toothy grin and a striped-grey face. It would appear that the Cheshire Cat’s cheekiness has not been lost in translation. Stephen Fry has lent his voice to the role and that has only increased the anticipation of seeing what he will actually be like.

Now add the excitement of seeing new reworkings of the Mad Hatter, the iconic blue dress, the White Rabbit and the “DRINK ME” bottles and I am one very excited movie-goer. Don’t forget it is in Disney Digital 3D and IMAX-3D too.