Hey y'all, I apologize for the delay in post-age again. I launched my lit magazine, we had a little party, it was lots of fun. I've been doing a lot of interviewing and writing and the blog has taken a hit because of it! I apologize. Anyway, I hope you writers out there will think of submitting something for the next issue of Candor which will pub in March (the deadline is the end of February). Check out info here if you're interested.
Since I left you, I saw Paranormal Activity, Twilight: New Moon, and The Fantastic Mr. Fox. I hope to see Up in the Air, The Messenger, and The Lovely Bones next week.
I'm currently reading Changing My Mind, the occasional essays of Zadie Smith. They are fantastic.
Last Monday I ventured uptown to see the Tim Burton retrospective at MoMa. A few words:
Walking through the exhibit, which, contrary to what reviewers have said, is incredibly complex and thorough; it covers Burton's career from his grade-school homemade movies up to Sweeney Todd. Maybe you aren't a Burton fan. Maybe you lived under a rock during the late 80s and 90s, or maybe you were too mature, or too little to appreciate his films. But I was the perfect age - and these things defined my childhood. I don't think I ever thought it was possible for someone to articulate isolation and pure unadulterated awkwardness like Edward's - and never in my life had I seen a man wear so much makeup and remain as soul-crushingly handsome as Johnny Depp in that film.
Beetlegeuse, to a large extent, still defines my sense of humor, and my interests, when it comes to movies, books, and theater. Hell, I write a column about ghosts and zombies and other dead stuff. And I love it. Winona Ryder became my absolute IDEAL GIRL TO BE. She still is, in a lot of ways. I think lots of us ladies still feel a kinship with Winona. Watching her movies today all I can think of is that voice! It's like a forty year old half Englishwoman in a thirteen year old's body!
I can still sing The Nightmare Before Christmas the entire way through, and no, I am not ashamed. I remember getting Nightmare Before Christmas dolls when I was little for Christmas, and my brother and I lining them up on the carpet before we watched the movie, ready to sing along. It's one of my fondest childhood memories.
And of course, then there's Batman. I think, for most people my age, and maybe everyone ever, Jack Nicholson will always be the Joker - even though Health did an incredible job, I look at Jack Nicholson and I see that purple suit and that green hair. Not to mention Kim Baisinger and Jerry Hall were maybe the first women that made me want want long blonde hair and big high heels! And in Batman Returns, what a beautiful Gotham, a winter-y landscape, a portrait of lust and violence. Michelle Pfeiffer: enough said. Michael Keaton is still my favorite Batman. He's the most sensitive, the most emotive of all of them, the least ridiculous - and he still has the best lips.
While Burton's later efforts aren't quite as unique or successful (Planet of the Apes, Big Fish, Willy Wonka, Sweeney Todd), I feel this has more to do with the change in how people make movies, with uber special effects and weak plotlines, and Burton's human and he's trying to adapt and stay relevant at the same time. It's a difficult task.
These movies not only defined my childhood, they define who I am as a human being. I can't say that about many directors or many films, and I'm proud to say that about Tim Burton. I have a kinship with him. If you're at all interested in the genesis of an auteur who for many people his work is as personal as it gets, I recommend you head to MoMa sometime before the exhibit closes in April.