Tim Burton at MoMA

The cool and hip thing to say is, “Oh, I NEVER listen to the critics! I go my own way!” But the fact of the matter (for me, anyway) is that I have very limited time and funds and on those rare occasions when I am at liberty to see a show or an exhibit, I do some homework beforehand so I don’t squander the opportunity, and that homework includes scouring the reviews. That’s why when the Tim Burton exhibit currently at MoMA got a weak review in the New York Times back in November, I demoted it to my B list of things to see.

Well, I had my “doh!” moment when I approached the exhibit. Critics can sometimes be humorless idiots and that is certainly the case here. The exhibit is a blast. Initially, I was puzzled over why MoMA would mount a retrospective of a movie director but Burton is an imaginative designer and makes good use of the floor space.

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Photo credit: Marilyn K. Yee/The New York Times

As you can imagine, it has broad appeal and the crowds are pretty thick. (That’s probably one of the reasons why the Times critic—sniff-sniff—didn’t like it.) If you’re in the neighborhood, it’s worth a visit, although you should probably get a timed-ticked from the museum, especially if you’re going on a weekend.

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Tim Burton/20th Century Fox

[Edit for comment: I didn’t take my girls to this show. 3-Year Old is too young for ANY museum and 8-Year Old would have been creeped out by it. As you can imagine, some of this stuff is actually quite frightening and 8-Year Old has a delicate sensibility. I think it would have given her some serious nightmares. At bedtime, the Edward Scissorhands costume would have marched out of her closet and the Catwoman costume from under her bed.]

13 thoughts on “Tim Burton at MoMA

  1. duh! thanks for the link, i had to come back and tell you i was ordering the book and probably some other things since, i know i can’t get up to nyc before the exhibit closes.

  2. Rob: See edit to post.Savannah: That’s such a shame. On the off chance you DO get up here, contact me.Point: I had no idea what this guy was doing in a museum until after I walked in. It was like a fog lifting.HIF: That’s a shame, but I know what you mean. It’s a drag to be in a museum (or a play or a concert) with someone who doesn’t want to be there.Daisy: I saw a preview of Beetlejuice before it opened and thought it would bomb. Instead, it launched his career. Shows you what I know.AFM: You hit right on it. He has his own style. You can look at a drawing or piece of film and know he had his hands in it. Do you know how difficult that is to pull off?

  3. that’s what you get for living in the big city…too many choices. back here in the outback of America, we get to choose from 2, maybe 3, things a weekend. makes it easier to ignore the critics (who usually print their stuff the week after the show closes anyway).

  4. I actually dig the pic of scare crow guy. When I was 8 I watched Chucky. Scared the frigging daylights out of me. The part where the doll is in the backseat and stabbing the guy … Fuck.

  5. Gnu: It’s a terrible burden but one I shoulder with pride. Sid: That’s a prototype sketch of Edward Scissorhands. If you haven’t seen it you should rent it.Jeff: Make sure you get a timed ticket beforehand. It’ll be tough to get in — especially with the toy fair in town.

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