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Thursday, October 6, 2022

Tim Burton: “I identify more with the monsters, it’s an emotional and psychological connection”

Tim Burton and his universe of extraordinary characters
Tim Burton and his universe of extraordinary characters

Creator of a unique universe populated by eccentric creatures and misfits, Tim Burton will visit Madrid the last week of September to open the exhibition “Tim Burton: The Labyrinth”, an “immersive” experience created from more than 200 sketches of his characters , scenery and costumes.

“Perhaps there are those who feel closer to John Wayne but I identify more naturally with monsters, I have always felt that emotional and psychological connection”the Californian filmmaker told Efe in an interview via videoconference from his home in London.

The exhibition, personally supervised by Burton, is presented as “a physical and sensory journey” through his workfrom the 1980s to the present, includes titles such as “Beetlejuice”, “Batman”, “Eduardo Scissorhands” (The young man with scissors), “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (The strange world of Jack), “The Corpse Bride” or “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ”.

Johnny Depp is one of the actors who worked the most with director Tim Burton.  (Photo by Jon Furniss/WireImage)
Johnny Depp is one of the actors who worked the most with director Tim Burton. (Photo by Jon Furniss/WireImage)

London these days is in the center of all eyes for the death and the burning chapel of Queen Elizabeth II. How are you living it?

– I met her personally, I had the opportunity to meet her a couple of times and she seemed like an incredible woman. I’ve heard that there are 30-hour queues to fire her, it’s amazing, I see it a bit surreal, like a fairy tale that is happening in real life.

He goes to Madrid to inaugurate an exhibition and the city council has proposed to grant him the honorary title of ambassador of the city. What is his relationship with the capital of Spain?

– It is a city that I have visited several times over the years, mainly promotional trips for my films. I often travel around the world and Madrid is a city with which I feel a special connection, because of its energy and its artistic spirit.

I did the animation show, where they tried to teach you how to draw the Disney way.  It was hard at first, but then I had the opportunity to be drawing for them freely, it was an incredible period.  REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
I did the animation show, where they tried to teach you how to draw the Disney way. It was hard at first, but then I had the opportunity to be drawing for them freely, it was an incredible period. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

The idea for the exhibition “Tim Burton, the labyrinth”, which opens on September 29, came from a Spanish company, Letsgo, what seduced you from its proposal?

– It’s not a classic retrospective, it’s something different that transports me to what I felt when I made those drawings and I didn’t know if they were going to end up being a film, a cartoon or a sculpture. More than an exhibition to use, it is a kind of strange fair.

You started out as a cartoonist at Disney, a strange place for a creator like you.

– Let’s just say I didn’t fit in very well at Disney… I studied at the California Institute of the Arts, which was a school founded by Disney. I did the animation show, where they tried to teach you how to draw the Disney way. It was hard at first, but then I had the opportunity to be drawing for them freely, it was an incredible period.

His filmography includes titles such as “Beetlejuice”, “Batman”, “Eduardo Scissorhands”, “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, “The Corpse Bride” or “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.
His filmography includes titles such as “Beetlejuice”, “Batman”, “Eduardo Scissorhands”, “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, “The Corpse Bride” or “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.

What does creativity, artistic expression mean to you?

– When I started, drawing was something that nourished me and helped me psychologically… I think that everyone has the capacity to be creative, but society or our own minds stop us. I remember, when I was starting out, feeling very frustrated because they told me that I had to draw in a certain way.. It’s blocked meI felt that I wasn’t capable of doing it, that I wasn’t good, until at one point I decided that I didn’t care, I liked drawing and I was going to do it my way, it was very liberating.

Do you remember the impact that the experience of seeing a movie for the first time had on you?

– For me the cinema was a place to see strange things that I felt were related to my own life. I liked fairy tales, monster movies, all the Universal ones, the horror ones, the Japanese monster movies.

“Perhaps there are those who feel closer to John Wayne but I identify more naturally with monsters, I have always felt that emotional and psychological connection.” EFE/Claudio Peri/File

You make the viewer love the monsters, not fear them.

– Monsters are often perceived as something evil, but they are not, they are just different, they have a strange appearance that is scary, but usually they are not evil.

Why do you identify with them?

– It seems common to me to feel different, perhaps there are those who feel closer to John Wayne but I identify more naturally with monsters, I have always felt that emotional and psychological connection.

You have been making movies for several decades, how do you see the future of the industry?

– A couple of years ago I was very worried, it seemed that the platforms dominated everything, but now, after the pandemic, I think that people want to return to the cinema, that there has been a change and that things are going in more than one direction .

Wednesday, the director's next project to premiere on Netflix.  (Netflix)
Wednesday, the director’s next project to premiere on Netflix. (Netflix)

He has just made his debut on television directing for Netflix the series “Wednesday” about the eponymous character of the Adams family. Because right now?

– I like the character, he questions me, I feel that I understand him, he is a character that conveys a strong, simple and clear type of mentality.

(with information from EFE)

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Kevin Cruise
As a software engineer, Kevin Cruise has a knack for the written word. He attended the International School of Entrepreneurial Leadership and graduated with a degree. He is an accomplished chess player and former badminton champion. A man of honest character pursues his love of writing as a profession. He excels in writing about feminism, social justice, and business.
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