Dark Shadows: We Miss You, Tim

by Ethan Alter May 14, 2012 5:27 pm
<i>Dark Shadows</i>: We Miss You, Tim

Once upon a time, there was a little boy named Tim who escaped the banality of his ordinary suburban existence in Burbank, California by conjuring up dark and fantastic visions in his own mind, visions that he brought to life with pen and paper or stop-motion short films. As a grown-up, Tim briefly brought his significant artistic talent to the Walt Disney company, but the bright and happy Mouse House proved an ill-match, so he struck out on his own, parlaying the success of his well-received short Frankenweenie into a feature directing assignment, 1985's Pee-wee's Big Adventure. The surprise success of that oddball comedy led to more gigs: among them, Beetlejuice, Batman and Edward Scissorhands, all successful and all distinct examples of a specific artistic vision. More importantly, his films connected with a very particular audience of outsiders and misfits -- viewers who felt marginalized by both the film industry and society at large. Here, at last, was a mainstream filmmaker who empathized with their plight and celebrated their oddity. He made it okay to be different, whether you were an overgrown man-child, a ghost, a traumatized man who dresses up in a rubber batsuit or a warm-hearted, pale-faced guy with scissors for hands.

Indie Snapshot: The Rum Diary, The Double and The Other F Word

by Ethan Alter October 28, 2011 4:45 pm
Indie Snapshot: <i>The Rum Diary</i>, <i>The Double</i> and <i>The Other F Word</i>

Johnny Depp goes gonzo, Richard Gere sees double and rockers become fathers in this week's round-up of indie offerings.

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