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Big Eyes, 2014.
Directed by Tim Burton.
A drama about the awakening of the painter Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950s, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960s.
What are expectations if not there to be subverted? Many of our favourite film makers’ work comes with expectations (rightly or wrongly) of how their films will look and a standard to which they should be held, but throughout the work of Tim Burton has come a figurative checklist from which the director has formed the foundations of a highly successful career. Visuals styles influenced from German Expressionism and quirky or downright weird characters, paired with a fondness for miniature and model work and exceptional set design have helped create the term ‘Burtonesque’ which »
- Gary Collinson
It takes a certain twisted, melancholy, big-hearted man to come up with stories about a boy who is cursed with scissors for hands, a skeezy demon who moonlights as a bio-exorcist and a man-child fixated on finding his stolen bike and Tim Burton, with his penchant for telling compelling outsider tales with a macabre twist, is a Hollywood original who has also become a force at the box office.
Your friendly neighbourhood goth follows up on 2012's stop-motion Frankenweenie with a return to a live-action biopic, something the director hasn’t touched since 1994’s Ed Wood. In Big Eyes, Burton explores the life of kitschy 1950s era painter Margaret Keane (Amy Adams) and her husband Walter (Christoph Waltz) who took credit for her work and phenomenal success. It’s a look at a dysfunctional family, a favourite topic for Burton.
On the occasion of the writer-director's latest theatrical release, we're »
- Andrea Miller and Rachel West
Tim Burton's "Big Eyes" is about a lot of things. It's about Margaret (Amy Adams) and Walter (Christoph Waltz), artists who popularized mass-market prints (Walter claimed he had created the artwork when Margaret was actually doing the painting). It's about the commercialization of art. And it's about the public perception of said art -- critics hated Margaret's paintings but consumers ate it up. And one of those arbiters of taste, in the film, is a snooty gallery owner played by Jason Schwartzman.
We sat down with Schwartzman recently to discuss what his favorite Tim Burton movie is, what he responded to in the script, whether or not he would hang a Keane painting in his house, and the response to a couple of his more recent films -- "Saving Mr. Banks" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel."
Moviefone: Let's start off by talking about what your favorite Tim Burton movie is. »
- Drew Taylor
At least once a month, Cinelinx will chose one director for an in-depth examination of the “signatures” that they leave behind in their work. With the release of Big Eyes this week, let’s examine the trademark style and calling signs of Tim Burton as director.
Burton went to college to study animation. His work there caught the eye of Disney and he was hired on as an animator. He worked on several projects before it became apparent that his style did not fit with what Disney wanted to do. He worked on several short film projects before catching the eye of Paul Reubens who offered Burton the opportunity to direct his first full length motion picture, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985). That film was a success and led to Burton’s working relationship with Oingo Boingo frontman Danny Elfman. Burton’s next opportunity was 1988’s Beetlejuice, which was also »
- email@example.com (G.S. Perno)
When a major filmmaker decides to tell a story about a renowned artist, one expects that the director is painting a kind of self-portrait. That is the case with Mike Leigh’s splendid, thrillingly acted Mr. Turner (also out this month), and that may also be true for Tim Burton’s latest film, Big Eyes. Take a glance at Margaret Keane’s sweet, painted children with their milky, enveloping, entrancing eyes, and you get a feeling of sadness and youthful wonder, as well as a bit of kitsch – all factors omnipresent in Burton’s offbeat fantasies, films like Beetlejuice and Big Fish.
However, Burton is no longer such a gauche visionary, his films more about the inventiveness of their atmosphere than the depth of the performances in them. Big Eyes’ opening credit sequence, which shows several of Keane’s paintings going through a press to make thousands of copies, could »
- Jordan Adler
For whatever reason I'm still pretty excited for Beetlejuice 2. Maybe it's the uptick in Tim Burton's quality of work in recent years. After hitting a creative nadir with Alice In Wonderland (what a mindfuck it has to be when your worst movies are the most successful ones financially and your best ones, like Ed Wood, bomb the hardest) I actually really enjoyed Frankenweenie quite a bit. And I hear good things about Big Eyes, so I'm considering the possibility that Burton has his mojo back after a few fallow years. Burton recently spoke about the script for Beetlejuice 2 (written by Seth Grahame-Smith) calling it "pretty good." Which I hope is code for "great" since Burton is promising that this movie will happen. Also confirmed? Winona Ryder (though that's really nothing new). Pretty much confirmed? Michael Keaton. Hit the jump for more on Beetlejuice 2. I wouldn't worry »
- Evan Dickson
The best story ideas are often the simple and pure ones. It's little wonder, then, that so many filmmakers and storytellers start by making short films - after all, if you can tell a good story in just a few minutes, you might be talented enough to make a feature.
Cinema history is full of stories about young filmmakers getting their start by making low-budget shorts. James Cameron famously made Xenogenesis, a sci-fi short which contained lots of things that would appear in his later feature films: a giant robot with big tank tracks, a cyborg, and a heroine at the helm of a hard-hitting mecha.
The short films below vary wildly, from two-minute chillers to 30-minute post-apocalyptic science fiction, but each of them are watchable for their own reasons, »
A study of the talent behind the kitsch 60s images of big-eyed waifs wants to be an oil painting but ends up more like a mass-produced print
Jon Ronson: the extraordinary story of an epic art fraud
The irony of Big Eyes, Tim Burton’s film about the authorial stamp on a work of art, is that it is nearly bereft of what makes Burton’s work so recognisable. The deeper implications of this are a matter for Burton and his shrink, but for us in the audience it’s a welcome recharge from a man whose last picture, Frankenweenie, was merely a longer version of one of his earlier projects.
Big Eyes reteams Burton with screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, who collaborated on the (dare I use the M-word?) masterpiece Ed Wood. Both films are about a misunderstood artist, but the similarities end there. »
- Jordan Hoffman
Heinrichs has served as production designer on films such as "Sleepy Hollow," "Fargo," "The Big Lebowski," the second and third "Pirates of the Caribbean" films, "The Wolfman," "Frankenweenie" and "Captain America: The First Avenger". [Source: Variety]
Now You See Me 2
In the new film, the Four Horsemen resurface and find themselves face to face with a new enemy who enlists them to pull off their most dangerous heist yet. [Source: Coming Soon]
Steve Jobs Biopic
- Garth Franklin
As anticipation grows for the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer, arriving in theaters this weekend, Star Wars: Episode VIII is firming up its behind-the-scenes team. Rick Heinrichs has officially come aboard the project to serve as production designer. His previous movies include Captain America: The First Avenger and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
Aside from the June announcement that Rian Johnson will write and direct both Star Wars: Episode VIII and Star Wars: Episode IX, Rick Heinrichs is the only other confirmed crew member announced regarding these follow-ups to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We reported in August that Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Daisy Ridley will be back for the sequels. That has never been confirmed by Disney or LucasFilm.
Almost a year ago we caught wind that writers Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton (Feast, Saw 3D: The Final Chapter) would be scripting a feature film adaptation of "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark." Mum's been the word ever since, and it seems whatever those two concocted will never see the light of day. Now, frequent Tim Burton collaborator John August (Frankenweenie, Big Fish) is reportedly going back to the source material to write up his version of »
- Sean Wist
Last year we leaned that the classic terrifying kids horror book series Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark will be getting a big screen adaptation. CBS Films is developing the project, and they picked up a pitch from Saw writers Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan. They were originally attached to adapt the Alvin Schwartz books, but now they’ve hired John August to take on that challenge. August is the writer who brought us films such as Big Fish, Frankenweenie, and Go.
These were three of my favorite books when I was growing up. I even had the audio tapes that were scary as hell to listen to. You can listen to those here if you want. The books consist of Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (1981), More Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (1984) and Scary Stories 3: More Tales To Chill Your Bones (1991). I especially enjoyed »
- Joey Paur
You grew up with them. They were the center of slumber parties and the grade school equivalent of water cooler conversations. Now Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark is being adapted by one of Hollywood's hottest screenwriters. Deadline reports CBS Films has hired John August to spin Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark book series into a horror movie fit for kids who revel in frightening films. The BAFTA-nominated screenwriter is perhaps best known for his collaborations with Tim Burton, which include Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride, Dark Shadows and Frankenweenie. CBS Films has bought the rights to all three of Schwartz's books, including Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, More Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, and Scary Stories 3: More Tales To Chill Your Bones. Considering these were short story collections, we might well assume the Scary »
We're only just now teetering on a wave of '90s nostalgia at the movies, and things like Dumb and Dumber To are just a sign of what's to come. And as someone who grew up in the late '80s/'90s sweet spot, I'm happy to ride this wave of nostalgia for a little while, especially since it means we're now getting a movie version of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. An adaptation of the iconic kids horror series has actually been in the works for a while now, but it would seem the previously hired screenwriting duo of Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton (the Saw sequels) are now being replaced/supplemented by Big Fish and Frankenweenie screenwriter John August. Considering the movies he's known for, it's not risky to assume this'll be a...
- Peter Hall
Originally, it was attached to Saw’s Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton before landing on August’s desk and we think August is probably the right man for the job. His writing credentials include Tim Burton collaborations on Big Fish, Frankenweenie, Corpse Bride and Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.
Alvin Schwartz’s three book series terrified kids of the 80s and early 90s with its spooky and macabre retelling of urban legends and folklore, alongside Stephen Gammell freaky illustrations. Schwartz has sold more than 7 million copies worldwide, so it looks like CBS will already have a ready-made audience.
Source: Deadline »
- Claire Joanne Huxham
The last we heard of an effort to adapt Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, CBS Films had tapped Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton to pen the screenplay. Today, however, Deadline is saying that John August has now been brought in to write. Apparently, the producers are looking to take the film in a direction that's more in line with the source material.
First published in 1981, the first book of what became a three-book series (it was followed by More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones) is officially described as follows...
The post Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Gets a New Writer appeared first on Shock Till You Drop. »
- Ryan Turek
Exclusive: CBS Films has tapped a new scribe to spin its Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark. BAFTA-nominated John August (Big Fish, Frankenweenie, Go) will adapt the iconic book series by Alvin Schwartz that had children of the ’80s and ’90s hearing bumps in the night, penning a new script based on the best-selling spooky story collection.
The three-book children’s series that’s sold more than 7 million copies worldwide began with 1981′s Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, continuing with More Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (1984) and Scary Stories 3: More Tales To Chill Your Bones (1991). The collection of folk tales and urban legends also memorably haunted generations of youngsters with its surreal and nightmarish illustrations by award-winning artist Stephen Gammell.
- Jen Yamato
Like all Tim Burton movies, “Big Eyes” is a visual/aural treat, with quirky humor, heart and a zippy pace. Cult status seems assured, and it could get attention at the Golden Globes. But Oscar is another question.
For a respected director who has been making big, successful movies for nearly 30 years, his track record with Oscar is surprisingly hit and miss. His films do best in the Academy’s artisan categories, and that’s likely to be true with “Big Eyes” as well: Bruno Delbonnel’s cinematography, Rick Heinrich’s and Colleen Atwood’s respective production and costume design, Jc Bond’s editing and Danny Elfman’s score.
The Globes seem likely to recognize the Weinstein Co. release it in the comedy/musical best-picture race, and lead actress Amy Adams could also score. Christoph Waltz once again steals the show in a supporting role. There is also terrific work by co-stars Jason Schwartzman, »
- Tim Gray
“I’ve always wanted to do a very serious courtroom drama,” joked Tim Burton on Thursday night at the world premiere of Big Eyes, the incredible true story of Margaret and Walter Keane, whose kitschy paintings of saucer-eyed children became mass-marketed sensations in the 1960s. Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz play the married artists whose pop success concealed a secret that later exploded in a famously zany 1986 court case: For a decade, the self-promoting Walter claimed he created the Waifs (while making millions from them), when it was Margaret who’d held the brush.
Adams gives a nuanced performance as Margaret, a timid single mother in the male-dominated 1950s who allows her showy second husband to co-opt her painfully personal art, becoming increasingly trapped in the lie as their fortunes swell. The Weinstein Co. has set a Christmas qualifying run and is already aggressively screening Big Eyes for awards voters, »
- Jen Yamato
Wednesday night’s “Behind the Screen” WGA West party at the Capitol Grille underlined how long screenwriters have to wait to see their scripts turn into movies.
A decade is often the case, such as with Margaret Nagle’s Sudan refugee drama “The Good Lie,” launched originally as “The Lost Boys of Sudan.” “We lost our producer Bobby Newmyer so I wound up taking a seven-year break and I did become a better writer,” she recalled.
— Dave McNary (@Variety_DMcNary) November 13, 2014
- Dave McNary
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