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nickperkins

Homework: Ed Wood (1994)

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Available for digital rental on Amazon, Vudu, and YouTube

 

Thanks for the shout-out today. Just my way of showing appreciation for this great podcast that has introduced me to many fantastic films.

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So Ed Wood gets inducted into the Canon, right? Good, glad that was settled.

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I love Ed Wood but honestly I wish we were welcoming Plan 9 From Outer Space into the canon. I think it deserves it, as one of the most cited (if not THE preeminent) "so bad it's good" films of all time. As much as I enjoy Burton's empathetic portrait of the man -- and I agree it's a shoo-in -- Ed Wood films have given me just as much pleasure.

 

Anyone with more than a passing interest in the wonderful and flawed Ed Wood should check out the excellent book Nightmare of Ecstacy, which was used as the basis of Burton's film. You can't but admire Wood's enthusiasm for his craft, which really does come across in the great performances of the 1994 biopic -- special mention must be made of Martin Landau as the aged Bela Lugosi, to say nothing of the rest of the supporting cast (pro wrestler George Steele bears an uncanny resemblance to Tor Johnson).

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So excited to hear this movie get discussed. I was hoping it would be a vs episode pitting Ed Wood against Edward Scissorhands, but I personally think Ed Wood is Burton's best movie so I can't for this episode.

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Was this mentioned earlier? For some reason that I can't remember, I shot EW to the top of my watch list and watched it this week, trying to remember what the reason was.

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I know it's the coolest Tim Burton film to like- but I did not get into it as much as I wanted to.

The bizarre but emotional dynamic between Bela and 'Eddie' was terrific- but I think on the whole- honestly- it's more interesting to watch the film as a meta-narrative for the way Burton views himself.

I'm probably a soft-no

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I know it's the coolest Tim Burton film to like- but I did not get into it as much as I wanted to.

The bizarre but emotional dynamic between Bela and 'Eddie' was terrific- but I think on the whole- honestly- it's more interesting to watch the film as a meta-narrative for the way Burton views himself.

I'm probably a soft-no

 

If you were to try and pick THE Tim Burton film for consideration, what would it be? There are several good candidates. Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, Sweeney Todd, Nightmare Before Christmas...

 

I think mine might be Ed Wood. There's something straightforward about it that really captures Burton's whole deal. It might be his best, too. (EDIT: Haven't rewatched it yet).

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If you were to try and pick THE Tim Burton film for consideration, what would it be? There are several good candidates. Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, Sweeney Todd, Nightmare Before Christmas...

Sweeney Todd, Big Fish or Sleepy Hollow.

Most likely Sweeney Todd.

But yeah- the straight-forward-ness of Ed-Wood is probably why I wasn't a big fan of it. I think Burton is too respectful of the material- I would've preferred something a bit more offbeat.

 

Also- the trans stuff in Ed Wood seems to be inoffensive to everyone- weird enough for the anti-LGBT people to not get freaked out- and respectful enough to not be Anti-LGBT rights. I'm not really into that; like the titular Eddie within the film- I wish Burton/screenwriters would maybe go a bit harder in one direction or another.

 

 

Also- Nightmare Before Christmas is Henry Selick's film- not Burton's- I've heard that's a pet peeve for Selick

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I love Ed Wood but honestly I wish we were welcoming Plan 9 From Outer Space into the canon. I think it deserves it, as one of the most cited (if not THE preeminent) "so bad it's good" films of all time. As much as I enjoy Burton's empathetic portrait of the man -- and I agree it's a shoo-in -- Ed Wood films have given me just as much pleasure.

 

Anyone with more than a passing interest in the wonderful and flawed Ed Wood should check out the excellent book Nightmare of Ecstacy, which was used as the basis of Burton's film. You can't but admire Wood's enthusiasm for his craft, which really does come across in the great performances of the 1994 biopic -- special mention must be made of Martin Landau as the aged Bela Lugosi, to say nothing of the rest of the supporting cast (pro wrestler George Steele bears an uncanny resemblance to Tor Johnson).

Someone mentioned "Plan 9" in the Movie Suggestions a while back. Seemed divisive, but I'm for it. Especially for the discussion it would generate!

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Someone mentioned "Plan 9" in the Movie Suggestions a while back. Seemed divisive, but I'm for it. Especially for the discussion it would generate!

If you can trace back bad/good cinema viewing -- and by extension, the modern ironic b-movie movement (Space Cop, Kung Fury, Turbo Kid, etc) -- to a single film, it's surely Plan 9 From Outer Space. I wonder if Ed Wood would be as artistically lost as Burton seems to be in the new millennium.

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If you were to try and pick THE Tim Burton film for consideration, what would it be? There are several good candidates. Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, Sweeney Todd, Nightmare Before Christmas...

 

Burton gets the fancy above-the-title-authorship credit, but I think the work of director Henry Selick on that film is criminally overlooked. To this day I'll meet people that have always assumed Burton directed it.

 

Regardless, I'd absolutely go to bat for its inclusion in the canon, along with Scissorhands and Beetlejuice.

 

Sweeney Todd is nowhere near Canon-worthy for me. It's a good-ish movie, but a pretty bland movie musical that plays into the weird modern trend of cutting the group numbers in a strange attempt at being realistic, I guess? Like the songs are framed as internal monologues, not actual musical numbers... that always feels like chickening out a bit, and not fully owning or fulfilling the potential of the musical medium.

 

Aside from that, Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett have been iconic characters for nearly 200 years, and yet Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury still 100% own them in the public consciousness. In the grand scheme, I feel Burton's Sweeney is a footnote, and nowhere near a Great Film.

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Possibly the best bio pic of all time? Inventive and puts you right in the mindset of Ed Wood. With a cast of characters you can't help but love. Maybe a little too sugary and omits (or I guess stops before) Ed Woods alcoholism and pornographic film career. This is a film on Wood at his "best." Even though it's not the whole picture I'd rather watch this than The Theory of Everything or The Aviator which make me feel like I just read a Wikipedia page.

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If you can trace back bad/good cinema viewing -- and by extension, the modern ironic b-movie movement (Space Cop, Kung Fury, Turbo Kid, etc) -- to a single film, it's surely Plan 9 From Outer Space. I wonder if Ed Wood would be as artistically lost as Burton seems to be in the new millennium.

 

But is a b movie allowed to be in the canon? It would be great discussion

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But is a b movie allowed to be in the canon? It would be great discussion

 

I would say a classic B-Movie like Edgar G. Ulmer's "Detour", Ida Lupino's "Hitch Hiker" or Jacques Torneur "Cat People" are definitely worthy of canon consideration, as well as many seminal horror movies like "Night of the Living Dead" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre".

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I would say a classic B-Movie like Edgar G. Ulmer's "Detour", Ida Lupino's "Hitch Hiker" or Jacques Torneur "Cat People" are definitely worthy of canon consideration, as well as many seminal horror movies like "Night of the Living Dead" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre".

Agreed. These episodes would be great.

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