November 19, 2009
She wears her stitches like permanent jewelry, body mods at once gruesome and delicate. Tim Burton’s Blue Girl appears in drawings, oil paintings and, here, in a polaroid print, Blue Girl with Skull, fleshed out by model Letitia Rogers in a costume by Colleen Atwood. The character would inspire Sally, the rag doll girl created by Dr. Finkelstein in The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993).
Frankenstein references are common in Tim Burton’s oeuvre. Early student films like The Island of Dr. Argor (1971) and Doctor of Doom (1979) already sample Frankensteinian themes. Frankenweenie (1984), a short made for Walt Disney, is a compact remake of James Whale’s Frankenstein (1931) with a boy and his dog standing in for Frankenstein and his Monster, a mini-golf windmill, and a poodle Bride. Frankenstein was the obvious template for Edward Scissorhands (1990), and there’s another important windmill scene in Sleepy Hollow (1999).
Beginning this Sunday, November 22, the Museum of Modern Art in New York is holding a comprehensive Tim Burton retrospective. Burton’s art is displayed in drawings, collages, paintings, sculpture and film.
The director pays homage, again, to Whale’s Frankenstein by including it the Lurid Beauty of Monsters film series that accompany the exhibit. And by the way, Frankenweenie is currently in development, to be remade as a feature film.
An excellent blog, The Tim Burton Collective.