May 02, 2024

Edward Scissorhands, Mars Attacks, Wednesday: Tim Burton is Back in Prague

A decade after his last visit, Tim Burton is back in Prague, captivating audiences once again with a new exhibition showcasing over 600 works from his career.

Titled “Returns,” the exhibition at the Municipal House delves into the creative process of the visionary filmmaker, primarily through storyboards, sketches, photographs, and film puppets.

The exhibition offers a unique glimpse into Burton’s artistic world. The first room presents a “typical gallery setting,” according to Martina Kárová, the exhibition’s architect.

In contrast, the second room boasts a more intriguing design. Here, film puppets are displayed within large plastic spheres, each featuring smaller glass peepholes. This unique arrangement not only transports viewers directly into Burton’s imagination but also reflects his distinctive aesthetic vision.

Burton is known in particular as a film author. Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Batman and Nightmare Before Christmas are simply unforgettable.

The author’s filmmaking style is most evident in Vincent, Frankenweenie, and Beetlejuice. That’s because Tim Burton is not the type of director who directs a film from a desk or a crane. He designs, sketches, models, or animates his characters, interiors and scenery himself. Even as a boy, he began using pencil and brush to create funny worlds in which he set unusual stories. And he never stopped.

Kateřina Riley from Art Movement, who is the organizer responsible for the exhibition, says: “Among the several hundred drawings, paintings, and collages you will also find puppets and film sets at the exhibition, so you will see the Martians from The Attack, the skeleton dancers from The Bride and the umpa lumpas from The Chocolate Factory, along with other Burton’s sculptures of fantastic character that has not been filmed yet”


However, the exhibition will also offer European viewers a glimpse into the history of the overseas entertainment industry, its excesses and obscure forms.

It will help to understand the American pop phenomena, artistic waves and fashion trends that Tim Burton drew on, as well as those for which he became an unwitting inspiration. Many of these, such as the Pop Surrealist lowbrow and the New Gothic, have only “reached” us marginally or as misunderstood echoes of distant creative explosions.

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