July 29, 2009 / 8:53 PM / 11 years ago

NY museum exhibit to show unseen Tim Burton works

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Films, paintings and drawings by film director and artist Tim Burton, which have never been seen before by the public, will be shown in a new exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art.

Guests watch a slideshow of drawings created by director Tim Burton that will be included in his upcoming exhibit at The Museum of Modern Art in New York July 29, 2009. REUTERS/Jamie Fine

The retrospective, which will run from November to April, will feature more than 700 works spanning his 27-year film career, including some that were made before he directed such movies as “Batman,” “Edwards Scissorhands,” and “Sweeney Todd.”

The 50-year-old director described being the subject of a major museum exhibition as an “out-of-body” experience.

“It is very surreal, very surprising,” Burton told a news conference at the museum on Wednesday. “This is a real re-energizing thing for me.”

The exhibit, called “Tim Burton,” will screen all of Burton’s 14 feature films, as well as student and short films, cartoons, childhood drawings, puppets, costumes and sculptures that Burton drew from pop surrealism, organizers said.

Excerpts from Burton’s 1996 film “Mars Attacks!” and an amateur black and white film called “Dr. of Doom,” and a long unseen television adaptation of “Hansel and Gretel” that briefly aired in 1983 were shown at the preview.

Burton said growing up in suburban Burbank, California forced him to tap into his artistic side and escape through his imagination.

“There wasn’t a real kind of artistic culture,” said Burton, who now lives in London. “Where I got anything, it was from TV or movies.”

The exhibit is the first retrospective by a major museum to show Burton’s works including those “virtually unknown”, said Museum of Modern Art Director Glenn Lowry.

“Their display offers an intimate experience of Burton’s sensibility — undiluted, provocative and humorous,” said Lowry. “His doodles, sketches, drawings and paintings are the raw material from which he draws inspiration as a filmmaker.”

Burton said he was drawn to his upcoming film, “Alice in Wonderland,” set for release in 2010, because he felt there had never been a strong movie version made of the classic tale of a girl who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world.

Explaining his inclination for examining life’s oddities, Burton said, “I get intrigued by just weird things.”

Reporting by Christine Kearney, editing by Patricia Reaney

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