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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Musing Pictures: Corpse Bride

Tim Burton. I don't know how to digest him quite yet.

The film itself is a lot of fun, in its own, macabre sort of way. The humor hits home with regularity, and the atmosphere, expertly woven by Burton and his team of... of whatever they are, is marvellously thrilling. Being countable months away from a wedding of my own added its own levels of creepiness to everything, of course.

But I really don't know how to digest Burton. There are aspects of this film which strike me as delightfully fresh -- provocatively edgy, and there are other aspects of this film which strike me as almost passive in their regularity... Perhaps it's the claymation, perhaps it's something else... somehow, all of the emotions in the film felt muted, despite the greatest range of human experience, from love to fear to mourning to death that appears in the film to varying degrees.

What I haven't been able to figure out is whether this muting of these emotional extremes is a blessing or a curse on the film itself.

On one hand, there might be a possibility that were these emotions somehow more emphatically evident, the film would have been too creepy, to hard to handle. It would have become too much of a zombie film with a heart.

On the other hand, perhaps had they been stronger, the film's story would have come across more powerfully than it did.

And that's just it, isn't it? For an edgy movie to be palletable, it has to be tame, which makes it harder for it to be edgy. That whole balance is where so many films go wrong, and it's one of a filmmaker's most dramatic challenges. I think Burton gets it. I enjoyed "Corpse Bride"... but... somehow, I'm still left wondering...

-AzS

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