"Why are people looking for escape in movies? . . . Because it's . . . a form of recapturing not a 'childish' impulse, but a way of looking at the world as if it were fresh and interesting."
Starting his career as an illustrator and animator for Disney, Tim Burton (b. 1958) made his full-length debut with the visually dazzling, low-budget "Peewee's Big Adventure." When it became a surprise blockbuster, studios began to trust him with larger budgets and the whims of his expansive imagination. Mixing Gothic horror, slapstick, pitch-black comedy, and oddball whimsy together, Burton's movies veer from childlike enchantment to morbid melancholy, often within the same frame.
His beautifully designed and highly stylized films including "Batman," "Edward Scissorhands," "Beetlejuice," "Big Fish," "Sleepy Hollow," and "Ed Wood" are idiosyncratic, personal visions that have nevertheless been commercial successes on the whole. In "Tim Burton: Interviews," the director discusses how animation and art design affect his work, how old horror films have deeply influenced his psyche, why so many of his protagonists are outcasts, and how he's managed to make consciously bizarre movies within the Hollywood system. He gives tribute to favorite actors including Johnny Depp and Vincent Price and writers, and talks enthusiastically about both pulp horror fiction and the works of Edgar Allan Poe.
These interviews show his progression from a young director to a contemplative and dry-witted artist over the course of twenty years. In later interviews, he opens up about his experiences in therapy and how his childhood fantasies still affect his art. "Tim Burton: Interviews" reveals a man who has managed to thrive inside Hollywood while maintaining the distinctive quirks of an independent filmmaker.