Getting inside the head of film director Tim Burton

Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:51pm EST
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By Shadia Ismail

TORONTO (Reuters) - In a long career, director Tim Burton has distinguished himself as the top Hollywood director for things weird, wacky, macabre and beautiful with his films ranging from "Edward Scissorhands" to "Alice in Wonderland."

Last year, New York's Museum of Modern Art launched an exhibition covering the 52-year-old filmmaker's career in art and movies, and it became an instant hit.

This week, a new version of the exhibit opens at the Toronto International Film Festival's TIFF Bell Lightbox. It features more than 700 original paintings, costumes, puppets, storyboards, doodles and drawings ranging from Burton's teenage years to present-day.

Burton took some time to sit with Reuters and talk about his work and the exhibit, which runs through mid-April.

Q: How does it feel to be honored like this?

A: "It's a very strange thing because usually this stuff happens when you're dead. This doesn't usually happen when you're still going, so it is quite an honor and strange because it's stuff I never expected to be up on a wall somewhere."

Q: Some of your original drawings and concepts are featured. What's it like for you to see scraps of paper with a drawing on it or an old letter you wrote on display?

A: "I never really went to museums, so the idea felt like an out of body experience. It didn't feel like me. It's kind of like "Oh, there's my dirty socks hanging on the wall." There's something strange about it. But I felt like I was in very good hands with (MoMA). I felt like they were presenting me in a way that made it more comfortable...cause I'd never thought I'd look at this stuff ever again. It's just strange, which is fine. I don't mind strange feelings."   Continued...

<p>Jury president Tim Burton attends a news conference at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival May 12, 2010. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler</p>