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on 4 December 1998
If you've seen Tim Burton in a broadcast interview, chances are that you know that he is not the most fluid of speakers, and for this reason I approached this extended interview with trepidation. However, beneath the sombre dust-jacket is an energetic and lively human being, who infuses the most simplistic life experiences with an infectious enthusiasm which makes this book an absolute joy.
The prose simply sparkles with intelligence, and probably just scratches the surface of his brilliance. Burton impresses with his underlying sense of artistic integrity, but amazes with his heartfelt discussions about art and character. He wants you to share the sense of fun that these experiences have given him, and speaks passionately on many aspects of life. Here is someone not afraid to relate the most pedantic details if he considers them to have impacted his vision, and this is where the book excels most. In many ways, the talk about his actual films is comparatively mundane when compared to recollections of the experiences that shaped them.
Topped off with a selection of Burton's distinctive artwork, this is a fine addition to the library of any movie fan, and it will leave you in awe of one of a cinematic talent that defies categorisation. In the foreword, Johnny Depp calls Burton a genius, and having read the man's take on the world, I think that it's a label I wouldn't argue with. This book is an exemplary example of the interview form, and proof that the best medium for preserving discussion will always be the written page.
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on 30 January 1996
For over a decade, the man has delighted and haunted(in a good way)audiences around the world. What is going on in the mind of the genius who has provided us with such popular hits as "Batman", the fairy tale, "Edward Scissorhands", and the critically acclaimed Ed Wood? Well, Burton on Burton gives us one of the clearest visions yet, describing his journey from an oddball child in the suburbs of California to his job as an unfulfilled Disney animator, to his current success. For the average Burton fan, the book will entertain and provide deep insight, but not so much related to Burton as a person, but Burton as a filmmaker. The chapters hide him behind a mask, much like his film's characters, never really letting the reader past the superficial. There are times when Burton comes close to opening up, describing his joy of spending time in the cemetary as a teenager, or his feeling of seclusion growing up, but for the most part, he focuses on his movies or other actors, or his success. Is it enough? Well, for most filmmakers, I wouldn't believe so... But there is a wonderful child-like quality to Burton, a truthfulness in his writing that somehow gave me just enough information to know that I liked him as much as I thought I had. The book could have used more of his lovely, peculiar artwork, and I do hope to know more about this genius in the future... But for what it is, "Burton on Burton" is a good first look into the life of a man who dwells in the dark in order to bring light to his audiences..................................................................................................................by peter fawthrop, greenville college, greenville, IL 62246------please feel free to write me!
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on 12 May 2011
This book essentially takes the form of an extended interview with Tim Burton. We are talked through most of Burton's life, beginning with childhood and teenagehood, followed by his time at CalArts and as an animator for Disney, and finally we are talked through his professional filmmaking career. Throughout, elements of Burton's personal/private life as well as his thoughts, preoccupations and emotional feelings are woven into the narrative of his education, training and career. If we imagine that somebody had decided to write a biography of Burton and interviewed him about his life, but then decided to go no further with the project and to simply release the interview transcripts; that is how I would describe this book. It is something like a potted biography; it lacks the completeness we may be used to, but it makes up for that with a certain unfinished, raw quality that permits one to believe that what one is reading is quite authentic.

This book, I feel, is interesting on two levels. For the Tim Burton fan, it tells the man's story in his own words and is interesting for that reason. But it is also of interest to anybody who would like to read the firsthand account of a prominent director's (arguably unorthodox) route into the film industry and subsequent experiences in the industry (reading of how a precocious beginner managed to convince the mighty Vincent Price to provide a voiceover for a short film project was, in itself, worth the price to me). I would heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in Tim Burton or film directors in general. However I feel that if one wanted more from this book, one could end up disappointed. It doesn't talk about how to become the next Tim Burton, how to get a feature film off the ground, or anything like that. And the book especially does not contain a great number of pictures. It is one almost exclusively for reading.

In terms of the book itself, I feel it ought to be noted that neither the quality of the paper stock nor the print quality are the finest. The paper feels quite coarse and the text can, at times, be blurry. By no means is this to an extent which would impair one's ability to read the book. And as this book is contains so few images, the 'experience' of the book is not diminished. In fact, the 'raw' quality of the text which I mentioned earlier is perhaps even enhanced a little by this rough and ready edition. However, as this aspect was pronounced enough to be noticeable, I felt it was worth mentioning.

For the right person, this book is perfect. It is an enjoyable read and very interesting. If you are expecting a lavish, image-rich and text-poor coffee table/'doorstop' book, though, it would be best to continue your search.
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on 19 August 2016
A very intriguing and frank look into Tim Burton's life based on his career output. His history and interaction with people, such as Disney and Johnny Depp, are highlights in understanding the psychology of his work. The book is written in very simple terms, which makes it very easy to follow. The writer tries to present the information with as little bias as possible. It paints a very clear picture of who Tim Burton is and what he stands for.
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on 11 July 2014
To say that Tim Burton is a visionary genius of cinema surely approaches the truth, but if you want to get an idea of all that lies behind the work of this writer/director/drawer/artist, the book "Burton on Burton" is definitely a good starting point.
I loved this director since the late 80s, exactly since '89, when "Batman" was released, a movie that has also allowed us, who are on this side of the ocean, to meet him. Since then I have followed his career step by step, also returning back to see his previous movie "Beetlejuice", which is still my most seen one (I lost the count somewhere around 40), both in Italian and in the original language and which I watch again with pleasure from time to time.
He made me move with "Edward Scissorhands", in which there was my (and his) first encounter with Johnny Depp, my favourite actor for over 20 years. He amused me with movies like "Mars Attacks!", "Ed Wood" and "Sleep Hollow", he made me enthusiastic with "Batman", "Batman Returns" (a little less than with the first one though) and the recent "Dark Shadows", he surprised me with "The Corpse Bride", "Nightmare Before Christmas", "Alice in Wonderland", he intrigued me with "Sweeney Todd". In some cases I was not completely satisfied, as in "Planet of the Apes". I have not seen some movies at all by choice, like "Big Fish" and "Charlie and The Chocolate Factory", or for lack of opportunity, like "Pee Wee's Big Adventure", but sooner or later I will watch them.
In any case, he is without a doubt my favourite director. In his films, if on one hand you can see his touch and the presence of certain recurring themes, however, there is a wide variety of genres. We have fantasy, paranormal comedy, superhero, science fiction, animation, musical, children's story, crime story, biography. There's something for all tastes.
Reading this wonderful book, in which Burton tells about himself at various stages of his career and his life, you can really understand where this variety comes from and at the same time what makes his films "Burtonian". It turns out as he often has come to make a film almost by accident and as on other occasions they were stories created by him and that he strongly desired to develop, at the cost of long waiting.
Burton tells us about the often unusual genesis of certain films, such as "Nightmare Before Christmas", whose story was written step by step with the creation of the soundtrack. He talks about his partnership with Johnny Depp, Danny Elfman and with other collaborators who have often worked with him. He shows us the often ruthless world of Hollywood, to which he has always tried not to give in, claiming he wanted to do only what he was feeling in his heart, because he was simply not able to do anything else. He reveals the man behind the director, from "special" kid to talented artist, to (almost casually) director.
What emerges is undoubtedly his enormous imagination combined with a strong desire to turn it into reality.
This book is in my opinion a true inspiration to all those who have an artistic talent and want to find ways to use it well, without compromise. But it is also only the life of a man, the simplicity of whom is evident from the way he speaks and what he says. He does not feel and does not want to be a celebrity. He just wants to bring to life his characters and his stories. It is a true artist.
As a fan and expert of Tim Burton, whilst reading this book, I have experienced almost a journey through time, going along with the periods during which he worked on his films. But I think "Burton on Burton" is a great read for any movie lover, as it offers a privileged perspective towards this world, from which many are fascinated.
Excellent work by the curator, Mark Salisbury, who has expertly put together the texts taken from various interviews, alternating them with interesting explanations. Finally, I must spend a few words to the two prefaces written by Johnny Depp, who added to it a little colour, telling us about Burton from a different point of view, that one of a friend, who shared (and still shares) with him the most important part of his career as an actor.

Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli, author of Red Desert - Point of No Return
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on 24 December 2002
As Director Tim Burton leads us through his Dark & Mysterious life through the lens, he talks freely on the tones and depth of his work, including his earlier shorts 'Vincent' and 'Frankenweenie'. Beginning with an intriguing foreword by Actor Johnny Depp that tells all on his first encounter with Burton and their friendship as it stands. Written in interview form and full of Burton's own conceptual art, stills from movies and most interestingly his break through in the Disney Studio's. A bit depressing as if we are made to feel sorry for him, but a good book nevertheless.
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on 5 November 1998
It should be noted that this is an interveiw with Burton where he discusses his artistic philosophy, his life, his inspiration, and the making of his movies. There are few pictures, and they are small. Burton fans will really enjoy getting to know him as a person, but those expecting good pictures of his art will be dissapointed.
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on 30 November 2010
This book is great for any Burton fan. Gives you a great insight to his works up to charlie and the chocolate factory. Very nice to be able to read his thoughts and feelings on the films he has made.
Great foreword by Depp as well, great to see the partnership even in a book.
Highly reccomend to most people who love his films or love the man.
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on 20 January 1997
The reason I'm only giving this a nine is because all though this was an easy reading book with insight on many of my favorite movies it lacked information on Burton himself. This book was more of a "Burton on Burton's movies" rather then on himself. I loved this book and I thought it had great pictures and great stories of what went on behind the movies and how they came to be, but I was expecting this to be more of a biography. But for any Burton fan...this is something exciting to read that you really must have.
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on 6 June 2015
if your a fan of Tim Burton then buy this book , ive got almost all of his films and this book is a good addition to go along with them .
Tim Burton discusses his films through differnt interviews , it also has some good drawings in there to .
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