978-0-571-22926-0 / 9780571229260

Burton on Burton, 2nd Revised Edition


Publisher:Faber & Faber



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About the book:

Hollywood's relationship with Tim Burton has always been a little uneasy. A fiercely individual artist working within the constraints of the studio system, Burton has made some incredibly successful films--notably the 1989 blockbuster Batman and its first sequel--but the industry just doesn't know what to make of him. In the Foreword to this book, Burton favourite Johnny Depp (Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow) observes that "I have never seen someone so obviously out of place fit right in. His way."

Taking the form of an extended interview, Burton on Burton allows the director space to discuss his films, and to digress where this seems illuminating; it also includes an impressive selection of film stills and Burton's drawings. Mark Salisbury does not so much question Burton, as guide the director through his own career, commenting where necessary but managing never to seem intrusive. Burton discusses his childhood and his often unhappy time at Disney ("I would sit in the closet a lot of the time and not come out"), before moving on to offer a fascinating insight into his idiosyncratic body of work.

Burton comes across as a man in love with "the joy of creating", but one who is refreshingly lacking in pretensions. He describes himself as a "commercial director", taking the financial investment which is put into his films very seriously, and saying of his work that "I'm very wary of analysing it too intellectually." At the same time, he has a genuine enthusiasm for cinema, discussing his influences--which range from Godzilla to Fellini--but stressing that he never aims for a literal homage to a favourite film. The director's enthusiasm is infectious. This an essential volume for Burton's fans, and an entertaining read for anyone else--it's hard not to like a director who (discussing Mars Attacks) declares that "It seemed like a good idea to just blow away celebrities with ray-guns." --John Oates

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