Tim Burton at MoMA: Video Podcast
So you go into this room at New York’s Museum of Modern Art’s Tim Burton exhibit, and it’s like striking gold: the Jack Skellington figure is there, along with a choice selection of the replacement heads that were used to animate dialogue; there’s the creepy, completely covered baby Penguin wicker stroller from BATMAN RETURNS; you can see a MARS ATTACKS stop-motion figure and some test footage shot before Burton decided to go CG; plus the headless horseman figure and the EDWARD SCISSORHANDS outfit and ED WOOD’s angora sweater. Film geek heaven — and a must-have for MMP’s second video podcast.
I pull out my camcorder and power up, and am instantly intercepted by a MoMA PR person, who politely but firmly informs me that practically nothing in the room, save for Edward and Headless and a vitrine with some figures from THE CORPSE BRIDE, can be filmed.
“Including,” she points out, “the angora sweater.”
Okay, I can dig that, for whatever reasons legal or contextual, stuff may be off-limits (fortunately, no such prohibitions existed for the rest of the exhibit, and, as you’ll see in the video, it’s a big durn exhibit). But specifically throwing the barbed wire up around the angora sweater? Really? Is there some sort of legal constraint, or is this humble strip of fluff so iconic of… something… that dissemination of its presence here could completely blow the intent of the exhibit?
So sorry, all you PLAN 9 maniacs. You want to worship at the alter of the angora, you’re just going to have to make a pilgrimage to New York. Happily, once you’ve performed your obeisances, you’ll then have an opportunity to drink deeply of Tim Burton’s mad genius. There are tons of concept work here, drawn by Burton’s own hand, plus a stunning variety of original and heretofore unseen artwork, sculptures and installations created specifically for the exhibit, and a copy of the hard-to-see HANSEL AND GRETEL adaptation that Burton directed for Disney in 1982.
A lot of the film stuff — including concept designs for ALICE IN WONDERLAND and the aborted Burton version of SUPERMAN RETURNS — was not verboten, so you get a taste of it in this podcast, along with a good sampling of original art, some thoughts from the exhibit’s curators on the director’s life and work, and some footage of Burton’s very Tim Burtonesque appearance at the press presentation. Click on the player above to get a look.