Born in Burbank in 1958, Tim Burton began making films in his backyard while still a preteen. These homemade 8mm epics, featuring stop-motion animation and sporting such gloriously lurid titles as The Island of Doctor Agor, reflected Burton’s early love of horror, sci-fi and pop culture kitsch.
“One person’s craziness is another person’s reality.” – Tim Burton
After studying animation at the California Institute of the Arts, Burton worked as an animator at Walt Disney Studios, where he created the classic live action short, Frankenweenie, which so disturbed studio executives (who were horrified that company money was spent making a film they felt was too dark and scary for kids) that the young filmmaker and The House That Mickey Built quickly parted ways. Striking out on his own to direct live-action feature films, Burton brought a cartoonist’s eye and a horror maven’s delight in the macabre to a string of offbeat comedies and dark fantasies that surprised and delighted audiences AND critics with their wicked wit and visual flair, starting with the wacky road trip comedy, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, in 1985. Taking inspiration from pop culture, fairy tales and traditions of the Gothic, Burton has since unleashed a torrent of highly unique films celebrating oddballs, misfits and outsiders of all stripes (films which can now only be described as “Burton-esque”), in the process reinventing Hollywood genre filmmaking as an expression of personal vision. This December, The Loft Cinema presents a ticklishly twisted sampling of some of the best films ever to spring from the dark imagination of the one-and-only Tim Burton.
Purchase a copy of The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories by Tim Burton during the month of December and receive a special “Loft Reel Reads” discount off the cover price – 20% for Loft Members and 10% for the general public. Copies of the book are available at The Loft Cinema and Antigone Books.