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Tim Burton: average or brilliant? / Cinema
Tim Burton’s career is the ultimate revenge of the art nerd. Mr. Burton, the self-professed alienated child of a dysfunctional family in Burbank, Calif., who funneled his loneliness, pain and grief into drawing cartoons, has found fame, fortune and a beautiful companion (Helena Bonham Carter) by telling cinematic tales of sensitive misfits triumphing over, or succumbing to, a world of repressive mediocrity.
Vincent (1982) and Frankenweenie (1984), drenched in the atmosphere of the old Hollywood horror films.
Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985). An intricately designed road movie with chaotic and absurd comedic elements.
Beetlejuice (1988), a black comedy with unconventional structure and sprinklings of dazzling genius, exuberant mix of slapstick horror and social satire.
Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), Burton’s most financially successful, and arguably least personal, films with the overwhelmingly dark atmosphere about outsider Batman.
Edward Scissorhands (1990), the masterpiece in Burton’s opus. His spiritual autobiography—a fairy tale of the “otherness” felt by every outsider.
The Nightmare Before Christmas, full length stop-motion animated film. In spite of the film’s visceral beauty, there remains a rough edge to the film, an unfinished quality which is representative of most of Burton’s oeuvre.