The 56th @BFI London Film Festival opens today with Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie” How Mexican Culture inspire him. See press and pics!
Latam Film has joined forces with the BFI with the aim to promote the Latin American Films present in its 56th Edition.
We will be announcing full programme of Latin American Movies and events shortly but first here is an interview from earlier on with director Tim Burton speaking about his new film Frankenweenie and how Mexican culture has influenced him.
For full interview click here.
About his Mexican influences:
Director Tim Burton, renowned for making light of dark themes, was earlier in October in Mexico to promote his latest stop-motion animation film, “Frankenweenie,” about a boy who revives his dog after it becomes roadkill, at a time when Mexicans are preparing to celebrate death with music, costumes and rituals on their Day of the Dead.
TIM BURTON: “Of all the cultures I’ve visited and been to, I find the Mexican way of dealing with (death) the most positive,”.
One month ahead of the holiday, Mexicans are decorating their homes with animated skeletons, tombstones, alters with offerings for passed relatives and other death paraphernalia. Many of them crowded outside of the St. Regis Hotel in Mexico City hoping for a glimpse of the famous director, holding up signs declaring their love for his movies. “I’ve been waiting for this moment since I was five years old,” one poster said in Spanish.
In Mexico, the obsession with death is evident everywhere — the capital’s popular newspaper El Grafico splashes large photos of bloodied corpses on its covers and inside pages. Fans of Mr. Burton said his work resonates with them because of the way it portrays the death as something that can be transcended or undone.
“Mexicans always keep the dead close,” said Policarpo Cruz, a 38-year-old Mexican accountant waiting to meet Mr. Burton with his 11-year-old son. “They always visit. They’re company for us. That doesn’t scare us. It’s agreeable that the dead don’t leave, but stay. Family is so important for our culture and we need to maintain that unity. That’s what Tim Burton does: he gives life to the dead. To us, that’s normal. That’s how we live in Mexico.”
He added that Mexicans often laugh at the idea of death because they don’t really believe in it.
“Frankenweenie,” Mr. Burton’s full-length remake of his 1984 live-action short film, tells the tale of a boy who digs his bull terrier out of its grave and manages to give it life again in an elaborate science experiment. The dog, Sparky, has dark circles around its eyes, bolts in its neck and apparent sewing where his skin and limbs had come apart. At one point, Sparky swallows a fly that then crawls out from patching on its neck. The film is in black-and-white, giving it a particularly dark edge, and includes many of the same scenes from the live-action original, and music from his typical collaborator on soundtracks, Danny Elfman.
Mr. Burton said it’s his most personal film so far, with many scenes reflecting real memories, including the pet cemetery. The main character, Victor, is more directly based on himself than any of his other protagonists. He said he used to frequent cemeteries when he was younger, living in a suburban middle-class home in Burbank, finding something “quite emotional and beautiful and spiritual” about them.
Like Victor, Mr. Burton said he considers himself a sort of “mad scientist.” His wild gray Albert Einstein hair askew, the movie director wore impenetrable black sunglasses and a black suit, saying the color preference saves him about 30 minutes every morning of trying to figure out what to wear.
He said never understood why so many people refused to talk about death, and noticed that the Hispanics in his neighborhood enjoyed doing so with humor and color. Mexican markets are typically filled with decorated skulls and clothed skeletons smoking cigarettes or playing guitars — an aesthetic Mr. Burton said inspires him.
His own dog when he was a little boy had a terminal disease, and its imminent death was always on Mr. Burton’s mind. In a way, he said, he finds the idea of reversing death in his films as a way to cope with his inability to do so in real life. “It’s a very expensive form of therapy,” he said.
After making the original “Frankenweenie,” Mr. Burton was let go from Disney DIS -0.16% for making what the company thought was a film too dark for children. Asked how he feels about working with them again on the full-length feature, he said he views it as “revenge.”
The movie will be screening tonight as the first gala night to mark the opening of the 56th BFI London International Film Festival.
For tickets please click here.
Source: Latam Film, extracts from the Wal Street Journal
Entry filed under: FILM FESTIVALS, LATAM FILM, LATIN AMERICAN FILM. Tags: BFI London International Film Festival, Latam Film BFI, Latin American Films BFI, Latin American Movies BFI, Tim Burton Frankenweenie.