Watch: What Tim Burton Owes to German Expressionist Films

Watch: What Tim Burton Owes to German Expressionist Films

It could easily be said that the best things about Tim Burton’s work come from German Expressionist film: the attentiveness to detail in design, the darkness, the vast, complex sets, the theatricality and over-blown nature of films such as ‘Edward Scissorhands,’ ‘Batman,’ and ‘Sweeney Todd.’ This new video piece by Cinema Sem Lei makes the connection between Burton’s work and such great films as ‘Nosferatu’ or ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’ crystal clear. This isn’t to suggest, of course, that Burton doesn’t inject and imbue his films with his own distinctive style. Far from it, in fact! But we are reminded, when watching this video, that the influence of older German filmmakers flows through Burton, empowering him.

2 thoughts on “Watch: What Tim Burton Owes to German Expressionist Films”

  1. Whenever people talk about Expressionism it is always Nosferatu, Metropolis, Faust, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. What about Destiny, The Last Laugh, The Golem, as well as Expressionist experiments outside of Germany.


  2. There are errors in the video: shots from Metropolis wrongly attributed to Faust. One on the rooftop of the church; the other of the 7 Deadly Sins coming alive.


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