Tim Burton

Oct. 29, 2013 | 2:10 p.m.

Danny Elfman celebrates Tim Burton film scores with symphonic concerts

Composer Danny Elfman poses for a portrait at his studio in Los Angeles on September 16, 2013. The character Jack from "The Nightmare before Christmas" is at left.  (Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times)
Prolific composer Danny Elfman is celebrating his years-long cinematic partnership with Tim Burton in a unique way this week: Beginning a three-night run at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Elfman will present a live symphonic program of the 15 movie scores he’s penned for the filmmaker. “Danny Elfman’s Music From the Films of Tim Burton” will even see Elfman take the stage to sing selections from the soundtrack of the stop-motion animated fable “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Conductor John Mauceri will lead the 87-piece Hollywood Symphony Orchestra through the three performances, which also will feature the 45-member Page L.A. Choir. The duo is soon set to begin work on their 16th collaboration, Burton’s forthcoming “Big Eyes” about the painter Margaret Keane and her husband, Walter, who took credit for her art. But in a recent interview about […]
May 07, 2013 | 1:49 p.m.

Ray Harryhausen, a special effects whiz who wowed a generation

Ray Harryhausen poses with an enlarged model of Medusa from his 1981 film "Clash of the Titans" at the Myths and Legends Exhibition at the London Film Museum on June 29, 2010. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
Ray Harryhausen, the beloved special effects wizard known for his pioneering efforts in stop-motion animation, the painstaking technique that requires animators to manipulate a puppet’s movement frame-by-frame, died Tuesday in London at the age of 92. Born in Los Angeles in 1920, Harryhausen began crafting his own versions of prehistoric creatures as a young boy. The pastime turned into a profession, and with films including “Mighty Joe Young” (1949), “Jason and the Argonauts” (1963) and “One Million Years B.C.” (1966), Harryhausen brought wild creatures to life in adventurous worlds, mesmerizing a generation who would be inspired to make their own films, both live-action and animated. One ardent admirer was a young Tim Burton, who told Hero Complex earlier this year that as a boy, he knew the work of Harryhausen before that of Orson Welles. “I remember seeing ‘Jason and the […]
Feb. 15, 2013 | 11:10 a.m.

Tim Burton reflects on ‘Frankenweenie’ box office, plots his next step

It was only Wednesday, but sitting at a small table in the restaurant at the Chateau Marmont, Tim Burton looked a little defeated by the week, and not simply because of the sling supporting his arm. A fall in London in December fractured his shoulder — a nasty injury that he said will likely limit his range of motion for about a year — but it was a recent bout of Hollywood glad-handing that had the filmmaker most excited to return to his home in England. Two days earlier, Burton had attended the Oscar nominees luncheon – his most recent film, “Frankenweenie,” is up for the Academy Award in the animated feature category. That evening, he’d appeared at the American Cinematheque for a screening of the movie, a black-and-white love letter to Universal horror films and his Burbank youth, along […]
Jan. 10, 2013 | 7:05 a.m.

Oscars 2013: ‘Hobbit,’ ‘Skyfall’ nab noms, no ‘Dark Knight Rises’

The 85th Academy Award nominations managed to offer some surprises Thursday morning — industry pundits were buzzing about the omission from the best director competition of Ben Affleck for “Argo” and Kathryn Bigelow for “Zero Dark Thirty” — but fans of fantastic entertainment had reason to cheer. Unless, of course, you were rooting for an Oscar for “The Dark Knight Rises.” While “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “Skyfall” and “Django Unchained” all earned multiple nominations in a variety of categories, the final installment in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy was not recognized, despite the critical acclaim that met the film when it was released in July. OSCARS 2013: Full coverage Happier news greeted Tim Burton today, with the filmmaker’s black-and-white 3D stop-motion love letter to childhood and Universal monster movies, “Frankenweenie,” leading the pack in the animated feature category. The movie, […]
Dec. 30, 2012 | 2:11 p.m.

2012 in review: 10 movies to see — or see again

Christian Bale as Batman on the Bat-Pod in "The Dark Knight Rises." (Ron Phillips/Warner Bros.)
For fans of fantastic entertainment, it was a bountiful year at the box office. The highest-grossing movies of 2012 starred a collection of superheroes, two strong young woman with mean archery skills (Katniss Everdeen and Merida from “Brave”), a suit-sporting super spy and a mild-mannered hobbit who embarks on an unexpected adventure — not to mention a coven of sparkly vampires and a talking stoner teddy bear. With so many movies to choose from, it’s easy to see how audiences might have overlooked a few gems. So as the year draws to a close, we’ve assembled our top picks for films to belatedly check out — as well as a few that no doubt warrant repeat viewings. “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter” Yeah, yeah, so it didn’t take the box office by storm, and critics griped that the movie wasn’t funny. […]
Oct. 31, 2012 | 6:01 a.m.

Halloween: A holiday greeting from Jack Skellington and friends

NightmareBeforeChristmas
Happy Halloween, Hero Complex readers! Enjoy. Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex RECENT AND RELATED Will Hollywood scare up ‘Beetlejuice’ sequel? ‘Frankenweenie’ schooled by Burton’s life Michael Keaton on a lost scene from ‘Batman’ Michael Keaton on the joys of ‘Beetlejuice’ Tim Burton on his ‘weird mental process’ Elfman knows score: ‘Burton opened every door’ VIDEO: Looking back on Tim Burton’s films ‘Abraham Lincoln’: Fake history, honest Abe ‘Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ has ‘violent ballet’
Oct. 04, 2012 | 10:22 a.m.

‘Frankenweenie': Inside the Actor’s Studio with Martin Landau

Martin Landau delivered his voice performance as science teacher Mr. Rzykruski in “Frankenweenie” long before the movie’s stop-motion animators got to work. “The thing that shocked me when I saw the film is that everything he does is what I would have done if I’d been on camera,” Landau said at a special advance showing of Tim Burton’s monster movie as part of the Hero Complex IMAX screening series. “It startled me, it was so much like what I’d envisioned.” Watch the video to see Landau discuss his idea of good and bad acting. “No one shows their feelings except bad actors,” said Landau, who is co-artistic director at the Actors Studio West in Los Angeles, a school and membership organization for actors. “No one tries to cry. You try not to cry. No one tries to laugh. You try […]
Oct. 03, 2012 | 11:41 a.m.

‘Frankenweenie': Martin Landau is part Vincent Price, part ‘Slob’

Martin Landau
In Tim Burton’s black-and-white, stop-motion-animated monster movie “Frankenweenie,” Martin Landau supplies the voice of Mr. Rzykruski, a mysterious science teacher who sparks curiosity in the kids of the town of New Holland. But John August’s screenplay for the film simply described Mr. Rzykruski as “European,” Landau said, so the actor created a fictional country for his character. “I decided he came from the wonderful country of Slobovia, where the Slobs are from,” Landau said in an interview at a special advance showing of the film last week as part of the Hero Complex IMAX Screening Series. Watch the video to see Landau perform Mr. Rzykruski with his Slobovian accent and explain one of the character’s other inspirations — horror legend Vincent Price. Mr. Rzykruski’s sharply angled face bears a striking resemblance to Price, who was an influential figure in Burton’s life, […]
Oct. 02, 2012 | 11:02 a.m.

‘Frankenweenie': Martin Landau praises Burton, Hitchcock, ‘goofy’ directors

“Frankenweenie” doesn’t open until Friday, but some Hero Complex readers got to see it last week thanks to the Hero Complex IMAX Screening Series. During a Q&A with Hero Complex contributor Rebecca Keegan, Martin Landau, who supplies the voice of the movie’s science teacher, Mr. Rzykruski, discussed his unique relationship with director Tim Burton. “Frankenweenie” is the third Burton film Landau has acted in — he won an Oscar for his performance as Bela Lugosi in 1994’s “Ed Wood” and delivered a cameo in “Sleepy Hollow” in 1999. The secret to Burton and Landau’s collaboration, the actor said, is a kind of nonverbal connection. “Tim and I don’t finish a sentence,” Landau said. “There’s something oddly kinesthetic about it. We kind of understand each other.” Take a look at the video above to learn more about Burton and Landau’s creative partnership, […]
Sept. 28, 2012 | 12:06 p.m.

Tim Burton’s regeneration of ‘Frankenweenie’ is a personal tale

Tim Burton (featured image)
The sound of brass and wind instruments rang out with a triumphant blast, echoing down a corridor and around a hallway where Tim Burton was seated inside a pavilion where a traveling exhibition devoted to his new movie, “Frankenweenie,” was on display. When the music was simply too loud to ignore, Burton took a moment to quip: “I hope you don’t mind, I’m rehearsing my new band. Up With People.” Such are the perils of promoting a movie at the happiest place on Earth. On a sweltering Sunday afternoon, Burton was fielding questions at Disney’s California Adventure about his latest stop-motion animated film, a feature-length revision of a short he made in 1984. The black-and-white 3-D movie, which opens in theaters Friday, keeps the same premise: A young boy from the suburbs borrows a page from Mary Shelley’s famous mad […]
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