Monday, December, 21, 09
Went to the Tim Burton exhibit at the MoMA yesterday with Sadiqeh, Matt R., Ivan, Will, and Chris. I have every intention of going back a few more times. I am lucky enough to get into the museum for free with my Newschool ID, and will has a friend who works there that got us into the Burton exhibit without those tickets. Pretty sweet deal.
The exhibit is made up of a lot of doodles, sketches, drafts, short films, ideas, models, costumes, set pieces, a wide variety of things from Burton’s personal collection to films he has made. Of course, the most breathtaking for me was the statue of Edward Scissorhands on display. I knew it would be there, but as soon as I caught site of it, standing in front of some Nightmare Before Christmas drawings, my tugged to the right…I started to tear up.
And so, I just watched the move again with Sadiqeh. I wrote a paper about it about five years ago for a class on Jesus in literature and film. I compared Edward to Jesus, that is the Christian Jesus story. Funny how watching it again made me look at the movie from another perspective. I always read the townsfolk as sort of blindly kind and not really understanding, but sort of operating with a herd mentality. Watching it again, I read this more to the point of here is a group of white liberal do-gooders who think they are helping the poor Other from some sort of personal damnation/isolation. What these do-gooders end up doing is almost completely destroying the integrity, innocence, culture, language, knowledge, etc of this Other. Edward, for the most part, got lucky. And Edward, like the modern day Jesus he can easily represent, does not maintain hatred or anger, rather continues to give to the very people who alienated and almost destroyed him.
It was wonderful to see the evolution of Burton’s artwork, his style slowly developing and perfecting into the bizarre dark and often fragile art he is known for. I recommend going to the MoMA. I know $20 can be a lot to drop, but if you can, even if it means skipping a few morning coffees or not buying someone a birthday or Christmas present – hell, make this their present – go check it out.