Tim Burton. (American, b. 1958), The Green Man. 1996-1998. Oil and acrylic on canvas, Overall: 10 x 8", Private collection. © 2009 Tim Burton.

Mars Attacks! (1996), Directed by Tim Burton, Shown: The Martian Girl, Jack Nicholson, Credit: Warner Bros./Photofest, © Warner Bros.

Tim Burton in Retrospect, the Filmmaker, and Tim Burton, the Artist

Tim Burton. (American, b. 1958), Untitled (Trick or Treat). 1980. Pen and ink, marker and colored pencil on paper, Overall: 10 x 16", Private collection. © 2009 Tim Burton.

Tim Burton. (American, b. 1958), Untitled (#6). 1982. Pen and ink, marker, and watercolor wash on paper, 11 x 15", Private collection. © 2009 Tim Burton.

Tim Burton. (American, b. 1958), Untitled (Black Cauldron). 1983. Pen and ink, marker, and watercolor wash on paper, 11 x 15", Private Collection. © 2009 Tim Burton.

Tim Burton. (American, b. 1958), Untitled (The World of Stainboy). 2000. Pen and ink, watercolor wash and colored pencil on paper, Overall: 9 x 12", Private collection. © 2009 Tim Burton.

Tim Burton. (American, b. 1958), Untitled (Cartoons Series). 1980-1986. Pencil on paper, 13 x 16", Private collection. © 2009 Tim Burton.

Tim Burton. (American, b. 1958), Untitled (The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories). 1998. Pen and ink, watercolor on paper, Overall: 11 x 14", Private collection., © 2009 Tim Burton.

Tim Burton. (American, b. 1958), Untitled (Blue Girl with Skull). 1992-1999. Polaroid, 33 x 22", Private Collection. © 2009 Tim Burton.

Tim Burton. (American, b. 1958), Blue Girl with Wine. c. 1997. Oil on canvas, 28 x 22" , Private Collection. © 2009 Tim Burton.

Tim Burton. (American, b. 1958), Untitled (Picasso Woman). 1980-1990. Pen and ink and watercolor on paper, Overall: 13 x 10 1/4", Private collection. © 2009 Tim Burton.

Tim Burton. (American, b. 1958), Untitled (Creature Series). 1997-1998. Pastel on paper, 14 x 11", Private collection. © 2009 Tim Burton.

Tim Burton. (American, b. 1958), Untitled (Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Sally). 1993, Polaroid, 33 x 22", Private Collection. © 2009 Tim Burton.

 

Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
212-708-9400
New York
Special Exhibitions Gallery,
Third Floor
The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters and Gallery Lobbies
Tim Burton
November 22, 2009-April 26, 2010

Tim Burton, a major retrospective explores the full scale of Tim Burton’s career, both as a director and concept artist for live-action and animated films, and as an artist, illustrator, photographer, and writer. The exhibition brings together over 700 examples of sketchbooks, concept art, drawings, paintings, photographs, and a selection of his amateur films, and is the Museum’s most comprehensive monographic exhibition devoted to a filmmaker. An extensive film retrospective spanning Burton’s 27-year career runs throughout the exhibition, along with a related series of films that influenced, inspired, and intrigued Burton as a filmmaker. Tim Burton is organized by Ron Magliozzi, Assistant Curator, and Jenny He, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Film, with Rajendra Roy, The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film, The Museum of Modern Art

The exhibition is on view throughout the Museum: the Special Exhibitions Gallery on the third floor features hundreds of drawings, paintings, sculptures, sketchbooks, and moving image works. Downstairs, in the Roy and Niuta Titus Theater Lobbies, a selection of large-scale Polaroids created by Burton is joined by domestic and international film posters from his feature films, while musical compositions chosen for the exhibition by Burton’s longtime collaborator Danny Elfman plays over the gallery speakers. In MoMA’s Agnes Gund Garden Lobby and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, a large-scale balloon and a deer-shaped topiary inspired by Edward Scissorhands are on view.

Mr. Magliozzi says: “While Tim Burton is known almost exclusively for his work on the screen, including Beetlejuice, Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, and more recently Sweeney Todd, this exhibition covers the full range of his creative output, revealing an artist and filmmaker who shares much with his contemporaries in the post-modern generation who have taken their inspiration from pop culture. In Burton’s case, he was inspired by newspaper and magazine comics, cartoon animation and children’s literature, toys and television, Japanese monster movies, carnival sideshows and performance art, cinema Expressionism and science-fiction films alike.”

MoMA’s exhibition draws extensively from the artist’s personal archive, as well as from studio archives and the private collections of Burton’s collaborators, and includes art from a number of early, unrealized projects. Never-before-exhibited drawings, paintings, and film props, as well as virtually unseen films — including Burton’s 1983 live-action, Asian-cast adaptation of Hansel and Gretel— and early student films, are on view.

Inspired by the works MoMA’s curators chose for the exhibition, Burton created seven new pieces, including Balloon Boy, a 21-foot-tall, 8-foot-diameter balloon appearing as a many-eyed creature that greets visitors in the Museum’s Agnes Gund Garden Lobby throughout the opening weeks of the exhibition. In the galleries a toy-house diorama inspired by Burton’s six-episode Internet series The World of Stainboy (2000) is on display. This work is joined by an animatronic Robot Boy sculpture, based on a character from Burton’s 1997 children’s book The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories, and a revolving, multimedia, black-light carousel installation that hangs from the ceiling. Three Burton “creature” sculptures are also on display in the gallery.

Visitors enter the Special Exhibitions Gallery on the third floor through a spectacular three-dimensional monster’s mouth. Inspired by Burton’s unrealized film project Trick or Treat (1980), the entrance was created for the exhibition by TwoSeven Inc. Upon passing through the creature’s mouth on its red-carpeted tongue, visitors proceed through a corridor lined floor to ceiling with Burton’s signature black-and-white stripes, and a presentation of Burton’s The World of Stainboy Internet series plays on six large monitors.

In the galleries the exhibition is organized in three sections, each in relation to Burbank, California, the city in which Burton was raised and the inspiration for much of his early work.

Surviving Burbank The introductory section of the Special Exhibitions Gallery consists of a grand salon-style installation of Burton character and creature studies on paper and canvas from the 1980s and 1990s, which serve to demonstrate the outpouring of creative energy and invention he was experiencing as a young artist at the time. Next, ephemera, school projects, and early drawings from Burton’s youth in Burbank are displayed in vitrine cases and wall mounts, including a city trash truck sign Crush Litter (c. 1973) that serves as a memento of his first professional award as an artist. These works are exhibited as a reflection of Burton’s feelings of adolescent alienation from small-town life, and illustrate how he turned to the strength of his imagination as consolation. Also included is a children’s book written and fully illustrated by Burton as a teenager, The Giant Zlig (1976), alongside items that chronicle a youth spent compiling lists of fantastic films, organizing film series, and making short action films. These items reflect Burton’s burgeoning interest in classic American horror movies, 1950s science fiction, and Japanese monster culture, all of which offered relief from the boredom of his Burbank childhood.

Burton’s Super 8mm films from the 1970s, shot in neighborhood backyards and starring childhood friends, are on view, including The Island of Dr. Agor (1971) and Houdini: The Untold Story (1971). Also featured is Stalk of the Celery Monster (1979), an animated short that Burton submitted as his graduation project at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). A sketchbook illustration brought to life, the film reveals Burton’s early taste for merging the gothic with the everyday. Other late amateur films on view include excerpts from the 16mm shorts Luau (1980) and Doctor of Doom (1980), which feature a young Tim Burton in starring roles. Created in a spirit of fun, these films satirize foreign-language horror movies and beach party films while toying with traditional animation technique. The works also display a number of themes and visual motifs that resurface in Burton’s later professional films.

Beautifying Burbank Burton’s talent matured during two years of study at CalArts and four years working as an animator at The Walt Disney Studios. Sketchbooks, cartoons, drawings, and examples of his first professional work at Disney reveal the emergence of a number of Burton’s signature motifs and stylistic traits, including creature-based notions of character, motifs of masking and body modification, ongoing themes of adolescent and adult interaction, and elements of sentiment, cynicism, and humor. Several of Burton’s CalArts sketchbooks are on display, supplemented by a digital slideshow sampling select pages and highlights from his classroom exercises and notes.

Among the most substantial output from this period is a series of over 50 cartoons Burton drew in pencil on animation registration paper between 1980 and 1986, which largely served as a diversion for the apprentice artist from his routine animation work at Disney. These drawings reveal Burton’s pent-up creative energy, youthful cynicism, and a taste for puns and sight gags.

As early as high school, Burton began developing ideas in drawings and verse for books, films, and art projects. Later, as a concept artist at Disney in the 1980s and in personal collaboration with Rick Heinrichs, he created a number of projects that were left unproduced and unpublished. On display are pen-and-ink drawings from unrealized projects such as Trick or Treat, Romeo and Juliet (1980-84), and Little Dead Riding Hood (1981). These, along with Burton’s character studies and cartoons, have remained an imaginative resource of wit and invention for the filmmaker.

Additional moving image works on display include Burton’s little-known adaptation of Hansel and Gretel, a work which was commissioned by The Walt Disney Company and broadcast only once in October 1983 on Disney’s newly launched cable channel. Vincent Price, Burton’s childhood idol who would later narrate Vincent (1982) and play a key role in Edward Scissorhands, hosted the program. Working with early collaborators Heinrichs, Stephen Chiodo, and Joe Ranft, Burton created over 500 pieces of concept and storyboard art, designed toys for the film, and even hand-drew parts of the set for this virtually handcrafted production. Selections from the related concept art and a handmade prop from Hansel and Gretel are also on display.

Beyond Burbank Burton’s professional career blossomed with the success of Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985), Beetlejuice (1988), Batman (1989), and Edward Scissorhands (1990). By the time his sixth feature was released, Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), which he developed and produced, his name was listed above the title. In this phase of his creative life, a number of rewarding professional collaborations, including those with costume designer Colleen Atwood, special effects master Stan Winston, stop-motion puppet craftsmen Ian Mackinnon and Peter Saunders, and the character design studio of Carlos Grangel served to bring his vision to the screen. The exhibition contains significant examples of their work, supplemented by important studio loans from the Disney, Warner Bros., and Twentieth Century Fox archives. Among them are props such as the sinister life-sized animatronic puppets from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), the Sandworm jaws from Beetlejuice (1988), and original puppets and concept art from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas and Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride (2005). These works are joined by costumes from Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns, and Sleepy Hollow, including the original Catwoman suit and the original Edward Scissorhands costume; props include the Penguin’s baby carriage from Batman Returns and severed-heads from Mars Attacks!.

Burton’s graphic art and texts for non-film projects like The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories (1997) and his hand-painted models for the collectible series Tim Burton’s Tragic Toys for Girls and Boys (2003) round off the exhibition’s survey of the artist’s creative work in this period. As curator Ron Magliozzi states, “These works further establish Burton’s kinship with a generation of contemporary artists — many from Southern California like Burton himself — who have taken inspiration from the surrealism and "lowbrow" charm of Pop Culture in the second half of the twentieth century.”

Burton’s 2006 music video Bones for The Killers is also on view, along with his commercial work for advertisers Timex and Hollywood Gum, featured in the three spots Gnome (1998), Kung Fu (2000), and Mannequin (2000). These are joined by an excerpt from the stop- motion tests Burton made in the early phases of production for his 1996 film Mars Attacks!. Although plans to employ stop-motion were abandoned for the film, the digital methods ultimately used to animate the Martian’s movements deliberately mimicked the less-polished effect of stop-motion.

MoMA’s Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1 Lobby Gallery has been transformed into a photo gallery with the display of 29 large-scale Polaroids, each approximately 33 inches by 22 inches, created by Burton between 1992 and 1999, along with a curio case of strange objects used in production of the Polaroids. In these works, Burton found another medium for expressing visual themes and motifs that also appear in his sketchbooks, drawings, and paintings. Created in studios and on desert and countryside locations with the aid of live models, the Polaroids employ fantastic objects created for photo shoots and puppets and props from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, while exploring Burton’s fascination with holidays, body modification, and the Gothic. The installation is accompanied by musical compositions by Danny Elfman that play over the gallery’s speakers. Additionally, a selection of domestic and international posters from Burton’s films are on view in the theater lobby galleries.

The publication Tim Burton traces the evolution of Burton’s creative practices, following the current of his visual imagination from his early childhood drawings through his mature work. Essays by Ron Magliozzi and Jenny He consider Burton’s career as an artist and filmmaker, shedding new light on his singular aesthetic. Richly illustrated with film stills, drawings, paintings, photographs, maquettes, and graphic work for both his film and nonfilm projects, the book presents previously unseen works from Burton’s personal archive. Tim Burton is published by The Museum of Modern Art and is distributed to the trade through Distributed Art Publishers (D.A.P) in the United States and Canada, and through Thames + Hudson outside North America. It is available at the MoMA Stores and online at MoMAstore.org. Paperback. 8 x 10 in.; 64 pp; 64 color ills. Price: $19.95. ISBN: 978-0-87070-760-5.

Tim Burton. (American, b. 1958), Untitled (Mars Attacks!). 1995, Watercolor and pastel on paper, 17 x 14" (43.2 x 35.6 cm). Private Collection. Mars Attacks © Warner Bros. © 2009 Tim Burton.

Tim Burton. (American, b. 1958), Untitled (Trick or Treat). 1980. Pen and ink, marker, and watercolor wash on paper, 15 x 12", Private Collection. © 2009 Tim Burton.

Tim Burton. (American, b. 1958), Untitled (Creature Series). 1992. Acrylic on canvas, 7 x 5", Private collection. © 2009 Tim Burton.

Tim Burton. (American, b. 1958), Untitled (Edward Scissorhands). 1990. Pen and ink, and pencil on paper, 14 1/4 x 9" (36.2 x 22.9 cm). Private Collection. Edward Scissorhands © Twentieth Century Fox, © 2009 Tim Burton.

 

Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride (2005), Directed by Tim Burton, Shown: Maudeline Everglot, voiced by JOANNA LUMLEY, and Finis Everglot, voiced by ALBERT FINNEY, are surrounded by residents of the Land of the Dead, starring the voices of Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

Tim Burton. (American, b. 1958), Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas storyboard. 1993. Pen and ink, marker, and colored pencil on paper, 5 x 7" (12.7 x 17.8 cm). Private Collection. © 2009 Tim Burton.

 

Tim Burton. (American, b. 1958), Untitled (The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories). 1982-1984. Pen and ink, marker, and colored pencil on paper, 10 x 9", Private Collection, © 2009 Tim Burton.

 

Tim Burton. (American, b. 1958), Untitled (Trick or Treat). 1980, Pen and ink, marker, and collage elements on board, 15 x 15" (38.1 x 38.1 cm). Private Collection. © 2009 Tim Burton.

Ed Wood (1994), Directed by Tim Burton, Shown: Johnny Depp (as Ed Wood), Photo courtesy of Touchstone Pictures.

The Films of Tim Burton, the Filmmaker, and Tim Burton, the Film Fan

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Directed by Tim Burton, Shown: L-R: DAVID KELLY (as Grandpa Joe); FREDDIE HIGHMORE (as Charlie Bucket); JOHNNY DEPP (as Willy Wonka); DEEP ROY (as the Oompa-Loompa); JORDAN FRY (as Mike Teavee) and ADAM GODLEY (as Mr. Teavee), Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

Big Fish (2003), Directed by Tim Burton, Shown: Ewan McGregor (as Edward Bloom), Photo credit: Columbia Pictures.

Batman (1989), Directed by Tim Burton, Shown: Jack Nicholson (as The Joker), Credit: Warner Bros./Photofest, © Warner Bros.

Sleepy Hollow (1999), Directed by Tim Burton, Shown: The Headless Horseman and Johnny Depp (as Ichobod Crane)..

Edward Scissorhands (1990), Directed by Tim Burton, Shown: Johnny Depp (as Edward Scissorhands), Photographer: Zade Rosenthal, Twentieth Century Fox/Photofest, © Twentieth Century Fox.

Batman Returns (1992), Directed by Tim Burton, Shown: Michelle Pfeiffer (as Catwoman), Michael Keaton (as Batman), © Warner Bros.

Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985), Directed by Tim Burton, Shown: Paul Reubens (as Pee-wee Herman), Credit: Warner Bros./Photofest, © Warner Bros.

Planet of the Apes (2001), Directed by Tim Burton, Shown in foreground from left: Helena Bonham Carter, Mark Wahlberg, Paul Giamatti, Credit: 20th Century-Fox/Photofest, © 20th Century-Fox.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Directed by Tim Burton, Shown: L-R: ADAM GODLEY, MISSI PYLE, DAVID KELLY, JORDAN FRY, ANNASOPHIA ROBB, FREDDIE HIGHMORE, JOHNNY DEPP, PHILIP WIEGRATZ, FRANZISKA TROEGNER and JAMES FOX, © Warner Bros. Photo: Peter Mountain.

Beetlejuice (1988) aka Beetle Juice, Directed by Tim Burton, Shown (center): Michael Keaton (as Beetlejuice), Credit: Warner Bros./Photofest, © Warner Bros.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), Directed by Tim Burton, Shown: Johnny Depp (as Sweeney Todd), © 2007 by DreamWorks LLC and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. Photo Credit: Leah Gallo.

Big Fish (2003), Directed by Tim Burton, Shown: Director Tim Burton on set with Albert Finney, © Columbia Pictures, Photo credit: Zade Rosenthal.

Big Fish (2003), Directed by Tim Burton, Shown: Deep Roy (left) and Danny DeVito (center-right), © Columbia Pictures, Photo credit: Zade Rosenthal.

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Directed by Henry Selick, Shown: Sally, Jack Skellington, Credit: Touchstone/Photofest, © Touchstone Pictures.

Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride (2005), Directed by Tim Burton and Mike Johnson Shown: Co-director Tim Burton on the set, Photo credit: Derek Frey.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), Directed by Tim Burton, Shown: Director Tim Burton on set with actor Johnny Depp (as Sweeney Todd), © 2007 by DreamWorks LLC and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. Photo Credit: Leah Gallo.

Tim Burton. (American, b. 1958), Untitled (Ramone). 1980-1990. Pen and ink, marker and colored pencil on paper, Overall: 11 x 9" (27.9 x 22.9 cm). Private collection. © 2009 Tim Burton.

Sweeney Todd (2007), Directed by Tim Burton, Shown: Director Tim Burton with actress Helena Bonham Carter (playing Mrs. Lovett), © Paramount, Photo: Leah Gallo.

Tim Burton. (American, b. 1958), Untitled (Christmas Photo). 1997. Polaroid, Overall: 33 x 22", Private collection. © 2009 Tim Burton.

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Directed by Henry Selick, Shown: Sally, Jack Skellington.

 

Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
212-708-9400
New York
The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters
Tim Burton
November 18, 2009-April 26, 2010

The film retrospective Tim Burton presents Burton’s entire cinematic oeuvre of 14 feature films, eleven of which are in MoMA’s film collection. These 14 feature films — Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985), Beetlejuice (1988), Batman (1989), Edward Scissorhands (1990), Batman Returns (1992), Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Ed Wood (1994), Mars Attacks! (1996), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Planet of the Apes (2001), Big Fish (2003), Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride (2005), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) — will be screened over the course of the five-month exhibition in the Museum’s Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters, along with his early short films Vincent (1982) and Frankenweenie (1984). A director of fables, fairy tales, and fantasies with an aesthetic incorporating the Gothic, Grand Guignol, and German Expressionism, Burton has created a body of films marked by striking visuals, indelible characters, and a distinctive and uncompromised point of view. Organized by Ron Magliozzi, Assistant Curator, and Jenny He, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Film, with Rajendra Roy, The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film.

In conjunction with Tim Burton, MoMA presents The Lurid Beauty of Monsters, a series of films that have influenced, inspired, and intrigued Burton, and which reflect the motifs, themes, and sensibilities in the director’s works. Taking as its starting point horror-movie screenings that Burton organized in his youth (ephemera from which is on view in the galleries), the series spans five decades and includes landmark films of stop-motion animation, Grand Guignol horror, Universal monsters, and B-grade science-fiction. Burton has said of watching these movies while growing up, “I loved the lurid beauty of these monster movies. They spoke to me. I didn’t understand the world, and these films were somehow symbolic of the way I felt.” Organized by Jenny He, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Film.

Tim Burton

Screenings

Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. 1985. Screenplay by Phil Hartman, Paul Reubens. With Reubens, Elizabeth Daily, Mark Holton. With his first feature, Burton established himself as a director with a unique personal style. Pee-wee embarks on a crosscountry search for his missing bicycle, a scenario that allows Burton to indulge in whimsical set pieces and extravagant sight gags. Like the elaborate Rube Goldberg–esque contraption (a familiar Burton motif) that facilitates Pee-wee’s morning routine, the simple plot unfolds in visually complex ways, culminating in a zany ride through the Warner Bros. back lot. 90 min. Wednesday, November 18, 8 p.m. Monday, January 11, 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 10, 4 p.m. Sunday, April 11, 5 p.m.

Beetlejuice. 1988. Screenplay by Michael McDowell. With Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis. A recently deceased small-town couple are required to haunt their own house for 125 years, but when they are unable to frighten the insufferable urbanites who move in, they hire a “bio-exorcist” to reclaim their home. The director’s cynical version of hell as a bureaucratic waiting room is leavened by such sophomorically gruesome delights as shrunken heads and flattened corpses, creating an atmosphere that shuttles between the world-weary attitudes of adulthood and the unbridled imaginative possibilities of youth. 92 min. Thursday, November 19, 8 p.m. Sunday, January 31, 6 p.m. Saturday, March 6, 4 p.m. Friday, April 9, 7 p.m.

Batman. 1989. USA/Great Britain. Screenplay by Sam Hamm, Warren Skaaren. With Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger. Eschewing the campiness of the popular 1960s TV show, Burton’s cerebral, witty take on the Caped Crusader reinvigorated the Batman franchise. Burton, along with production designer Anton Furst, applied his eye for inventive set design to psychologically darker material than in his previous films to create an iconically twisted, phantasmagorical Gotham City. 126 min. Friday, November 20, 8 p.m. Saturday, January 23, 5 p.m. Wednesday, February 3, 8 p.m. Monday, April 5, 4:30 p.m.

Vincent. 1982. Screenplay by Tim Burton. With the voice of Vincent Price. In this stop-motion animated short, a bored suburban boy imagines a world worthy of Edgar Allan Poe. 6 min. Saturday, November 21, 5 p.m. (with Edward Scissorhands) Saturday, December 5, 1:30 p.m. (with The Nightmare Before Christmas) Thursday, February 4, 8 p.m. (with Ed Wood) Tuesday, April 6, 4:30 p.m. (with Sleepy Hollow)

Edward Scissorhands. 1990. Screenplay by Tim Burton, Caroline Thompson. With Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Alan Arkin, Vincent Price. Arguably Burton’s most personal film, Edward Scissorhands delves into one of his most recurrent themes: disconnection from the world at large and the search for true identity. Incapable of directly touching others with his razor-sharp fingers, Edward is the physical manifestation of spiritual isolation. When a kind Avon lady discovers him and introduces him to suburbia, his ability to shape things — hedges, hair, ice — into wondrous sculptures engenders a brief welcome. But his acceptance is short-lived in this parable of teenage angst and alienation. 105 min. Saturday, November 21, 5 p.m. Saturday, December 26, 5 p.m. Friday, February 5, 8 p.m. Monday, April 26, 8 p.m.

Batman Returns. 1992. Screenplay by Sam Hamm, Daniel Waters. With Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer. The sequel surpasses the original as Burton plumbs deeper into the Dark Knight’s psyche. The complex villains Catwoman (a mousy secretary who unleashes her inner ferocity) and the Penguin (who embraces his penchant for chaos while secretly craving the acceptance he never received from his parents) contribute surprising emotional depth to the comic-book setting. 126 min. Saturday, November 21, 8 p.m. Thursday, January 28, 4:30 p.m. Monday, March 8, 8 p.m. Monday, April 5, 8 p.m.

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. 1993. Directed by Henry Selick. Story and characters by Tim Burton. Screenplay by Michael McDowell, Caroline Thompson. With the voices of Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara. With its ghoulish imagery and manic-depressive antihero, The Nightmare Before Christmas straddles the line between grim children’s fable and gentle horror story. Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, has grown weary of his crown. Obsessed with his recent discovery of this thing called “Christmas,” he attempts to shake off his malaise by usurping the mantle of “Sandy Claws” instead. 76 min. Sunday, November 22, 3:30 p.m. Saturday, December 5, 1:30 p.m. Sunday, February 7, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 25, 5 p.m.

Frankenweenie. 1984. With the voices of Shelley Duvall, Daniel Stern, Barret Oliver. Transporting Mary Shelley’s classic tale to Southern California, Burton imagines Frankenstein’s monster in the form of a reanimated family pet. 29 min. Sunday, November 22, 5:30 p.m. (with Ed Wood) Saturday, December 26, 5 p.m. (with Edward Scissorhands) Sunday, February 7, 2:30 p.m. (with The Nightmare Before Christmas) Monday, April 5, 8 p.m. (with Batman Returns).

Ed Wood. 1994. Screenplay by Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski, based on Nightmare of Ecstasy by Rudolph Grey. With Johnny Depp, Martin Landau. In this offbeat biopic, Burton depicts the titular “World’s Worst Director” with equal amounts of mockery and sympathy. Although unquestionably portrayed as a filmmaker who relied more on gumption than talent, Burton’s Ed Wood is also an earnest man with an absolute belief in his vision and craft. Armed with pure optimism in the face of abject humiliation and rejection, he is Burton’s nod to unwavering artistic integrity. 127 min. Sunday, November 22, 5:30 p.m. Saturday, January 2, 5 p.m. Thursday, February 4, 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 7, 8 p.m.

Mars Attacks! 1996. Screenplay by Jonathan Gems, based on the Topps! trading-card series. With Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Annette Benning, Pierce Brosnan, Danny DeVito. Aliens (of the green, bulbous-brained, bug-eyed variety) come to Earth, and they do not come in peace. Burton’s hilarious homage to — and parody of — 1950s sci-fi B-movies features an ensemble of A-list actors who gamely inhabit outrageous characters. 106 min. Monday, November 23, 8 p.m. Monday, January 4, 4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 13, 8 p.m. Saturday, April 17, 4 p.m.

Sleepy Hollow. 1999. USA/Great Britain. Screenplay by Andrew Kevin Walker, based on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. With Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Christopher Walken. Burton’s film transforms Irving’s folktale into a supernatural whodunit, and the original meek schoolteacher, Ichabod Crane, into a priggish New York City constable who is sent up the Hudson River to investigate a series of bizarre murders. The film’s macabre humor melds perfectly withthe “stylized naturalism” of Burton’s sumptuous production. 105 min. Wednesday, November 25, 8 p.m. Sunday, December 27, 5:30 p.m. Saturday, January 23, 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 6, 4:30 p.m.

Planet of the Apes. 2001. Screenplay by William Broyles Jr., Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal, based on La Planète des Singes by Pierre Boulle. With Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth, Helena Bonham Carter. Burton’s adaptation of Boulle’s novel about humans in an ape-dominated world features one of his main character archetypes. Astronaut Leo Davidson crash lands on a foreign planet and finds himself a misunderstood outcast among the native humans and their simian masters. 119 min. Friday, November 27, 8 p.m. Friday, January 1, 4:30 p.m. Sunday, February 7, 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 8, 7 p.m.

Big Fish. 2003. Screenplay by John August, based on the novel by Daniel Wallace. With Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup. On his deathbed, Edward Bloom retells his life through exaggerated tall tales. This lifelong habit of subjective recollection alienates him from his son Will, who longs to know his “real” father. Burton’s adaptation shifts the focus toward the elder Bloom, a character who fits the mold of Burton’s archetypical flawed and imperfect, yet revered, father. 125 min. Saturday, November 28, 8 p.m. Thursday, December 3, 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 10, 7 p.m. Monday, April 12, 4 p.m.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 2005. USA/Great Britain. Screenplay by John August, based the book by Roald Dahl. With Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, Helena Bonham Carter. Simultaneously one of Burton’s funniest and most poignant films, this perfect union of the sensibilities of Burton and Dahl is filled with unapologetic whimsy, a delight in gruesome humor, and the enduring appeal of the fancies and freedoms of childhood. 115 min. Sunday, November 29, 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 27, 4:30 p.m. Monday, February 1, 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 15, 8 p.m.

Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride. 2005. USA/Great Britain. Directed by Tim Burton, Mike Johnson. Screenplay by John August, Caroline Thompson, Pamela Pettler. With the voices of Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Emily Watson. For his second feature-length stop-motion film, Burton transformed a nineteenth-century European folktale about a man caught between two women — one breathing, one not so much — into a musical filled with exquisitely crafted characters who prove that what appears frightening is often just misunderstood. 76 min. Sunday, November 29, 5:30 p.m. Sunday, December 6, 2:30 p.m. Friday, March 5, 4 p.m. Saturday, April 24, 2 p.m.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. 2007. USA/Great Britain. Screenplay by John Logan, based on the musical by Stephen Sondheim. With Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman. Burton’s version of a romantic comedy, his filmic adaptation of Sondheim’s tale of tonsorial terror is replete with the filmmaker’s recurrent visual and thematic motifs. The musical numbers allow for fantastic set pieces that alternate between light and dark, revelatory and horrific, and the twisted narrative sets comedy amid the grotesque. 116 min. Monday, November 30, 8 p.m. Wednesday, January 27, 8 p.m. Friday, March 5, 7 p.m. Saturday, April 10, 4 p.m.

The Lurid Beauty of Monsters

Screenings

The Omega Man. 1971. USA. Directed by Boris Sagal. Screenplay by John William Corrington, Joyce H. Corrington, based on I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson. With Charlton Heston, Rosalind Cash. When asked to choose the one film he would bring to a deserted island, Tim Burton playfully recalled this story of the last man on earth. The only human not transformed by a viral epidemic into a light-sensitive creature of the night, Dr. Robert Neville (Heston) walks a razor-thin line between losing his mind and becoming mankind’s savior. 98 min. Wednesday, December 2, 6 p.m. Monday, April 26, 4 p.m.

Jason and the Argonauts. 1963. USA/Great Britain. Directed by Don Chaffey. Screenplay by Jan Read, Beverley Cross. With Todd Armstrong, Niall MacGinnis, Honor Blackman. In search of the mythical Golden Fleece, Jason and the crew of the Argo face such perils as a living 100–foot statue, bat-winged harpies, and the seven-headed Hydra — all brought to life by exalted special-effects master Ray Harryhausen, one of Tim Burton’s childhood idols. “The stop-motion animation and the kind of reality and scale of it...was really amazing,” says Burton of the film, “[Harryhausen was able to] imbue his monsters with more emotion than most of the actors in those movies.” 104 min. Thursday, December 3, 8 p.m. Saturday, December 5, 3:15 p.m.

Mad Monster Party. 1967. USA. Directed by Jules Bass. Screenplay by Forrest J Ackerman, Len Korobkin, Harvey Kurtzman. With the voices of Boris Karloff, Phyllis Diller. This Rankin/Bass stop-motion-animated musical features a campy cavalcade of classic horror characters, including Dracula, the Mummy, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, as they plot to gain control of Baron von Frankenstein’s secret weapon during a monster convention. The film’s pun-filled humor shares a kinship with the tone of Tim Burton’s 1980-1986 cartoon drawings. 95 min. Saturday, December 5, 5:45 p.m. Sunday, December 6, 5:30 p.m.

Frankenstein. 1931. USA. Directed by James Whale. Screenplay by John L. Balderston, Francis Edward Faragoh, Garrett Fort, based on the play by Peggy Webling and the novel by Mary Shelley. With Boris Karloff, Mae Clarke, Colin Clive. This classic Universal horror film, featuring the work of renowned make-up artist Jack Pierce, made an indelible imprint on the young Tim Burton. Frankenstein showcases Karloff as a sympathetic monster whose principal sin is his existence, a theme that resonates throughout many of Burton’s works. 71 min. Saturday, December 26, 2 p.m. Sunday, January 3, 4 p.m.

Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari). 1920. Germany. Directed by Robert Wiene. Screenplay by Hans Janowitz, Carl Mayer. With Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt. In one of the landmark films of German Expressionism, a movement that greatly influenced Tim Burton’s visual style, the somnambulist Cesare commits murder under the control of the sinister Dr. Caligari. The theme of the reluctant villain plays a significant role in Burton’s films, in which characters like Catwoman and Sweeney Todd are made into monsters by the wickedness of others. Silent, with piano accompaniment. 71 min. Saturday, December 26, 8 p.m. Thursday, February 4, 4:30 p.m.

Murders in the Rue Morgue. 1932. USA. Directed by Robert Florey. Screenplay by Florey, Tom Reed, Dale Van Every, based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe. With Bela Lugosi, Sidney Fox, Leon Ames. After the success of Dracula (1931), Universal cast Lugosi in this murder mystery, loosely based on Poe’s tale. With roots in Parisian Grand Guignol and hints of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, this film was also an influence on the B-movie director (and Tim Burton subject) Ed Wood, who paid homage to the film in his own Bride of the Monster. Ames plays a variation on Dupin, Poe’s seminal literary detective, who gave rise to the tropes and structure of the classic whodunit — a tradition very much embodied in the Ichabod Crane of Burton’s Sleepy Hollow. 61 min. Sunday, December 27, 2:30 p.m. Friday, January 1, 8 p.m.

Dracula. 1931. USA. Directed by Tod Browning. Screenplay by Garrett Fort, based on the play by Hamilton Deane, John L. Balderston, and on the novel by Bram Stoker. With Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, Edward Van Sloan. This classic adaptation of Stoker’s oft-filmed novel — and the film that kick-started Lugosi’s career and Universal’s horror franchise — relies on tried-and-true horror tactics such as chiaroscuro, fog, and dramatic reveals to conjure atmosphere and tension. 75 min. Saturday, January 2, 8 p.m. Sunday, January 3, 2 p.m.

The Raven. 1935. USA. Directed by Lew Landers. Screenplay by Daniel Boehm, based on the poem by Edgar Allan Poe. With Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lester Matthews. A horror classic based on a story by the genre’s maestro and starring some of its heavy hitters, The Raven also borrows some torturous delights from another Poe masterpiece, The Pit and the Pendulum, and features prominently in Burton’s Vincent (1982). 61 min. Sunday, January 3, 6 p.m. Friday, January 29, 4:30 p.m.

Plan 9 from Outer Space. 1959. USA. Written and directed by Edward D. Wood, Jr. With Gregory Walcott, Mona McKinnon, Duke Moore. Aliens attempt to take over Earth by bringing Southern Californian corpses to life. One of Hollywood’s most legendary cinematic fiascos, Plan 9 was famously proclaimed the worst movie ever made, and it helped elevate Ed Wood to infamy as the “World’s Worst Director.” 79 min. Saturday, January 2, 2 p.m. Monday, January 4, 8 p.m.

Glen or Glenda. 1953. USA. Written and directed by Edward D. Wood, Jr. With Wood, Bela Lugosi, Lyle Talbot, Timothy Farrell. “Glen did wear the dress to the Halloween party. He even took first prize. Then one day, it wasn’t Halloween any longer.” This unintentionally hilarious, quasi-autobiographical faux docu-drama preached for social change and the acceptance of transvestitism. Despite its seemingly random overuse of superimposition and stock footage, plodding dialogue, stilted line readings, and a superfluously-cast Lugosi as an omnipotent puppet master, the film’s true delight lies in its utter earnestness. 65 min. Friday, January 22, 4:30 p.m. Sunday, January 24, 5:30 p.m.

Bride of the Monster. 1955. USA. Directed by Edward D. Wood, Jr. Screenplay by Wood, Alex Gordon. With Bela Lugosi, Tor Johnson, Tony McCoy. Well-known for the production crew’s unauthorized borrowing of a studio prop octopus for its role as the titular monster, this entertainingly inept film features Lugosi — in a dignified performance conjuring up Dracula magnetism — as an evil scientist who plots to create superhumans using an atomic machine. 69 min. Friday, January 22, 8 p.m. Sunday, January 24, 2:30 p.m.

Pit and the Pendulum. 1961. USA. Directed by Roger Corman. Screenplay by Richard Matheson, based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe. With Vincent Price, John Kerr, Barbara Steele. Price, Tim Burton’s childhood idol and professional muse, stars in this psychologically and viscerally terrifying tale of torture, in which the (Spanish Inquisitorial) sins of the father are revisited upon the son. 80 min. Saturday, January 23, 2 p.m. Friday, January 29, 8 p.m.

The Mummy’s Hand. 1940. USA. Directed by Christy Cabanne. Screenplay by Jay Griffin, Maxwell Shane. With Tom Tyler, Eduardo Ciannelli, Dick Foran. In this horror comedy, archeologists uncover the tomb of an Egyptian princess only to find it accompanied by a deadly protector. Despite being produced at Universal — and featuring footage of Boris Karloff — The Mummy’s Hand was not a direct sequel to Karl Freund’s The Mummy (1932); the film set out to create its own franchise showcasing the mummy Kharis. 67 min. Monday, January 25, 4:30 p.m. Saturday, February 6, 2 p.m.

The Creature from the Black Lagoon. 1954. USA. Directed by Jack Arnold. Screenplay by Harry Essex, Arthur Ross. With Richard Carlson, Julie Adams, Richard Denning. Remarkable for its cinematography, this archetypal Universal monster movie pits the iconic half-man/half-fish creature against voyagers on the Amazon. 79 min. Monday, January 25, 8 p.m. Saturday, January 30, 2 p.m.

The Mummy’s Tomb. 1942. USA. Directed by Harold Young. Screenplay by Jay Griffin, Henry Sucher. With Lon Chaney, Don Foran, John Hubbard. This sequel to The Mummy’s Hand finds the undead Kharis terrorizing the remaining members of an Egyptian archaeological expedition in America. 60 min. Thursday, January 28, 8 p.m. Saturday, February 6, 5 p.m.

When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth. 1970. Great Britain. Written and directed by Val Guest. With Victoria Vetri, Robin Hawdon, Patrick Allen. This Hammer Films action-adventure love story, set in a fantastical prehistory in which cavemen coexist with dinosaurs, is remarkable for Jim Danforth’s stop-motion special effects. Tim Burton recalls standing in line for this film as a child, and it inspired his own amateur stop-motion short film The Island of Dr. Agor (1971). 96 min. Saturday, January 30, 5 p.m. Monday, February 1, 8 p.m.

Revenge of the Creature. 1955. USA. Directed by Jack Arnold. Screenplay by Martin Berkeley. With John Agar, Lori Nelson, John Bromfield. The Creature from the Black Lagoon finds love in this sequel, which transports the horror from the Amazon to Florida. 82 min. Saturday, January 30, 8 p.m. Friday, February 5, 4:30 p.m.

The Towering Inferno. 1974. USA. Directed by John Guillermin. Screenplay by Stirling Silliphant, based on the novel The Tower by Richard Martin Stern, and on the novel The Glass Inferno by Thomas N. Scortia, Frank M. Robinson. With Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, William Holden. The world’s tallest building catches fire on opening night, placing its occupants in mortal peril. With a cavalcade of stars and stunning special effects, over-the-top disaster spectacles such as The Towering Inferno were satirized by Burton in Mars Attacks!. 165 min. Thursday, March 4, 4:30 p.m. Sunday, March 7, 2 p.m.

Nosferatu. 1922. Germany. Directed by F. W. Murnau. Screenplay by Henrik Galeen, based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. With Max Schreck, Gustav von Wangemheim, Greta Schroder. A significant German Expressionist film, this adaptation is distinguished by Schreck’s magnificently eerie and ghoulish performance and Murnau’s inventive treatment of Stoker’s material. Silent, with piano accompaniment. 81 min. Saturday, March 6, 7 p.m. Monday, March 8, 4:30 p.m.

The Swarm. 1978. USA. Directed by Irwin Allen. Screenplay by Stirling Silliphant, based on the novel by Arthur Herzog, Jr. With Michael Caine, Katharine Ross, Richard Widmark, Olivia de Havilland, Slim Pickens, Fred MacMurray, Henry Fonda. This Irwin Allen disaster movie unleashes killer bees on an A-list cast. A sincere thriller marred by unintentional campiness, a pitfall of the genre, Burton plays up films like The Swarm to comedic effect in Mars Attacks!. 116 min. Sunday, March 7, 5:15 p.m. Thursday, March 11, 8 p.m.

Earthquake. 1974. USA. Directed by Mark Robson. Screenplay by George Fox, Mario Puzo. With Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, George Kennedy. Another disaster epic bloated with stars, a popular genre in the 1970s, Earthquake examines several personal stories during the course of a Los Angeles seismic event. Although character-focused, the main appeal of the film lies with the monster quake and its destruction. 123 min. Thursday, March 11, 4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 13, 5 p.m.

The Brain from Planet Arous. 1957. USA. Directed by Nathan Juran. Screenplay by Ray Buffum. With John Agar, Joyce Meadows, Robert Fuller. An alien brain takes over the body of a nuclear scientist with plans of world domination. This 1950s sci-fi/horror mainstay features the masterful work of monster make-up artist Jack Pierce. 71 min. Friday, March 12, 8 p.m. Sunday, March 14, 2:30 p.m.

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. 1949. USA. Directed by James Algar, Clyde Geronimi, Jack Kinney. Screenplay by Erdman Penner, Winston Hibler, Joe Rinaldi, Ted Sears, Homer Brightman, Harry Reeves, based on The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame, and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, by Washington Irving. Narrated by Bing Crosby. The work of Disney’s core animators during its golden age (the famous “Nine Old Men,” a term coined by Walt Disney himself) and with visual effects by Ub Iwerks, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is one of the seminal and influential films of the studio’s animation department. Burton, who started his career as a Disney animator during the end days of this golden age, was clearly inspired by this film’s priggish, nervous Ichabod Crane in his own Sleepy Hollow adaptation. 68 min. Monday, March 15, 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 6, 8 p.m.

Scream Blacula Scream. 1973. USA. Directed by Bob Kelljan. Screenplay by Maurice Jules, Raymond Koenig, Joan Torres. With William Marshall, Don Mitchell, Pam Grier. At the neighborhood movie theater, Burton spent much of his childhood watching films such as this blaxploitation horror film, and sequel to Blacula (1972), which finds the titular black prince of shadows awakened by voodoo powers to stalk the earth once again. 96 min. Friday, March 19, 7 p.m. Sunday, March 21, 2 p.m.

The Brain that Wouldn’t Die. 1962. USA. Directed by Joseph Green. Screenplay by Joseph Green, Rex Carlton. With Jason Evers, Virginia Leith, Leslie Daniels. This gory horror film finds a mad scientist attempting to attach his fiancée's severed, but living, head to a functional body. Severed heads appear as a common motif in Burton’s works, and his predilection may have been informed by a childhood influenced by films such as The Brain that Wouldn’t Die. 82 min. Thursday, April 8, 4 p.m. Saturday, April 10, 1:30 p.m.

Tex Avery cartoons. The humor and characters in Tex Avery cartoons find resonance and compatriots in Beetlejuice, Batman, and Mars Attacks!: Swing Shift Cinderella. 1945. USA. Directed by Tex Avery. 7 min.; Red Hot Riding Hood. 1943. USA. Directed by Tex Avery. 7 min.; Little Rural Riding Hood 1949. USA. Directed by Tex Avery. 6 min.; The Cat that Hated People. 1948. .USA. Directed by Tex Avery. 7 min.; The Three Little Pups. 1952. USA. Directed by Tex Avery. 7 min.; Field and Scream. 1953. USA. Directed by Tex Avery. 7 min.; Program 41 min. Friday, April 9, 4 p.m., Saturday, April 24, 4 p.m.

Invaders from Mars. 1953. USA. Directed by William Cameron Menzies. Screenplay by Richard Blake. With Helena Carter, Arthur Franz, Jimmy Hunt. Aliens suck victims underground and reprogram their brains to do their bidding in this 1950s sci-fi classic. Invaders from Mars is remarkable for its portrayal of a child as the main protagonist and hero against alien-modified adults, and reflects the conflict between childhood and adulthood, a theme often seen in Burton’s works. 78 min. Friday, April 16, 4 p.m., Saturday, April 17, 2 p.m.

20 Million Miles to Earth. 1957. USA. Directed by Nathan Juran. Screenplay by Christopher Knopf, Robert Creighton Williams. With William Hopper, Joan Taylor, Frank Puglia. In this science-fiction fantasy, with monster effects by Ray Harryhausen, an American spaceship returning from Venus crash lands on Earth and releases a creature that wreaks havoc yet simultaneously elicits sympathy as it just wants to be left alone. "Ray Harryhausen really is a master. His work — his animation was so beautiful. The creature in 20 Million Miles to Earth— I love that creature" (Burton). 82 min. Saturday, April 24, 7:30 p.m., Sunday, April 25, 2 p.m.

Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride (2005), Directed by Tim Burton and Mike Johnson, Shown: Victor Van Dort, voiced by JOHNNY DEPP, and the Corpse Bride, voiced by HELENA BONHAM CARTER, Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

 

Tim Burton. (American, b. 1958), Untitled (Frankenweenie). 1982. Pen and ink, marker, and charcoal on paper, 11 x 13", Private Collection. © 2009 Tim Burton.