Edward Scissorhands Drawings Coming to MoMA

June 10, 2009


The only real way to understand the mind of Tim Burton is to be abandoned in a forest of gnarled trees with only the company of Johnny Depp, Danny Elfman music, and a woman physically way out of your league. But since that's not a practical option for everyone, this fall MoMA is doing the next best thing, which still sounds pretty alright:

The visually inventive filmmaker behind "Edward Scissorhands," "Batman" and "Sweeney Todd," among others, will be the subject of "Tim Burton," a major exhibition at Gotham's Museum of Modern Art beginning Nov. 22 and running through April 26.

The show will include more than 700 pieces: paintings, drawings, storyboards, maquettes, puppets and other work created or designed by Burton. MoMA will also screen a complete retrospective of the helmer's 14 films over the course of the show.

The exhibition follows Burton from childhood through his most recent work, which the director finds appropriate: "Everybody draws," Burton observed. "I just never stopped when the teachers told me to."

In addition, MoMA will present a series of films that influenced or inspired the helmer, including James Whale's 1931 "Frankenstein," Robert Wiene's silent 1920 horror film "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" and Roger Corman's 1961 "The Pit and the Pendulum."

Cinephiles will also have a chance to view Burton's earliest nonpro films and student art, on display for the first time.

As someone who taped every episode of Family Dog entirely because of Burton's executive producer credit, I'm pretty excited to see this--especially the early student stuff. I'm hoping that, like film students at my college, he had a period where most scenes involved 20-year-olds in Goodwill suits delivering Kevin Smith-influenced dialogue in a "bar" that looked conspicuously like the campus coffee shop.

Tim Burton exhibit at MoMA [Variety]

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