Not sleepy, but a bit hol­low

SFX - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! 176 pages | Hard­back

Au­thor Ian Nathan

Pub­lisher au­rum

Does be­ing a fan of some­thing make you less critical of it, or more? It’s a per­ti­nent ques­tion where this book is con­cerned. A lav­ishly pre­sented sur­vey of Tim Bur­ton’s CV, it fea­tures hun­dreds of colour pho­to­graphs, and feels very much de­signed as a gift for the Bur­ton fan in your life. Some of the im­ages are oddly cho­sen – what value does the poster for Su­per­man: The Movie add? – but mostly, it looks splen­did.

Given a lim­ited word­count (more than half the book is pic­tures), Ian Nathan crams in a lot as he rat­tles through Bur­ton’s ca­reer. How­ever, the tone is of­ten too gush­ing, too ea­ger to laud Bur­ton’s ge­nius. Maybe some fans want this – but be­ing a fan also means you’ve thought about the sub­ject a lot, and the book could use a more con­sid­ered ap­proach. In a way, it un­der­rates Bur­ton: he has glar­ing short­com­ings, which even he doesn’t deny, but which this book barely ad­dresses. The fact he’s be­come a lead­ing film­maker in spite of this is the real tes­ta­ment to him: you have to take his flaws, be­cause what else he of­fers is unique. Ed­die Rob­son

Bur­ton was at CalArts with Pixar’s John Las­seter – a con­nec­tion which got Franken­wee­nie green­lit.

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