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 BOB Discussion Question #1, Burb babies
captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 16 2007, 07:22 PM


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Originally Posted by Karen
on 6/20/05 at 05:17 AM

user posted image
Tim talks over and over about being raised in the burbs (suburbs that is). How do you think that made him the film maker that he is today? Do you think he would have had the same impact if he was raised in a "big" city? What about in the middle of the "country?" We know it affected ES..what other film shows this influence to you?
(Note that Johnny was raised in the burbs too. But then, weren't we all?)
Have some fun with this one.






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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 16 2007, 07:23 PM


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deppraved

I was raised in 3 cities, then a small town. (JD connection-lots of moving, Mom with "ants") No 'burbs.
He makes it seem like the land of bland. all conformity-no flavor. So it says a lot about Tim that he didn't relate and felt outside of it all. But the images left that indelible impression. All these images that swim in his head and being such a visually connected person/learner is part of what makes him such a good and unique filmmaker. And had these images been from another environment, it would have clored the themes of his films. BUT---I think the thing about Tim and his movies is he lives inside his head, like JD, and he was raised in front of the TV set, (which is something I can relate to strongly) and that affects his themes and images even more than the 'burbs, so had he been raised elsewhere, he would still be essentially the same guy.
Hope this makes some sense.
I think I see the 'burbs influence in the Pee-Wee movie, to some degree. But it is most evident in ES. Not seeing it in his other films.
I do think his films would have reflected something slightly different had he been raised somewhere else, but mostly it's the strong connection to the macabre and creature features he's so fond of that shows up in a lot of his movies. Big Fish was a bit of a departure, but again, it had lots of strange people (bizarre creatures) and was all about flights of fancy and the blurred line between reality and imagination.


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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 16 2007, 07:25 PM


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Karen

I grew up in a suburban tract house in Cali that looked remarkably like the neighborhood in ES. We even had a pastel pink house and palm trees. LOL
I think maybe growing up and seeing this world has to color the way you look at things. I had cousins raised in an older more established neighborhood and going to visit them was so different, it was a bit scary to me as a little girl. Everything around us at home was new and shiny and bright. The streets, the schools the stores, everything. Now I shy away from the burbs and like to live in an old parts of the city. Go figure.
I've wondered about the neighborhood where Tim filmed EW and Bella's house. More tract homes that all looked alike. Rows and rows of them.


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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 16 2007, 07:26 PM


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MadScntst

I agree with Deppraved about the suburban influence on ES in particular. I think it's interesting when he talks about how one's impressions and memories of something aren't necessarily accurate, but heightened, and he is more interested in the heightened sense of something than have it be accurate. I think that his memories and impressions of growing up where he did were so heightened that they had to go to Florida to find what he was thinking of, to give the impression of conformity he was going for. I hadn't really thought about Ed Wood, but it seems that maybe he was going for a different vibe, there- to make those tract houses look really stark.
I don't know if it was the thought of the suburbs per se, but I found myself thinking that I have a lot of the same memories growing up as he did. I *did* grow up in a suburb, on Long Island, but I grew up watching monster movies too. And I was born the same year, so I think I had a lot of the same TV, movie and other cultural influences as he did. That doesn't really answer the question but I guess these cultural influences are easy to be found and shared with some buddies when you're in the suburbs, even if you're not necessarily running with the popular crowd. Since I never lived in the city or the country, I don't know how much more the city would've given him different cultural things to do, or the country would've given him more outdoorsy activities to do.


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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 16 2007, 07:26 PM


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Karen

About Bella's tract home...I can't help but think about how blah the tract homes were in Bella's neighborhood and yet interior was quite a bit just the opposite. All a jumble. We know nothing is left for chance in film making and I can't help but wonder what the reason was. Try to remember what the homes were like in Beetlejuice and Big Fish...


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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 16 2007, 07:27 PM


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Jeppody

I have to agree with Deppraved too (sorry to be boring), but I do think that the horror films Tim watched as a child probably influenced him far more than the area he lived in. We know that he is naturally artistic, and that his drawings and early films were very horror orientated, which would probably have been true wherever he was brought up.
Hang on, I've changed my mind a little here (sorry but I'm allowed, I'm a woman!!), but it has just occured to me that living near so many film studios probably got him started on making his films as a child. I am not so sure that he would have gone on to make his wonderful films if he had been brought up in the middle of the countryside, (Oh my, what an awful thought!!) although it would be interesting to guess how he would have expressed his artistry in that case. Painted cow sheds maybe?
As for films that were based in suburbia, don't forget Frankenweenie. That was definately the Burbs.
I hope all that made sense. My brain is just not on good form today.


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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 16 2007, 07:29 PM


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Ellen

QUOTE
Quote Originally Posted by Jeppody
Hang on, I've changed my mind a little here (sorry but I'm allowed, I'm a woman!!), but it has just occured to me that living near so many film studios probably got him started on making his films as a child. I am not so sure that he would have gone on to make his wonderful films if he had been brought up in the middle of the countryside, (Oh my, what an awful thought!!) although it would be interesting to guess how he would have expressed his artistry in that case. Painted cow sheds maybe?

That up there^^^^ was exactly what I was thinking Anne. He also said he never consciously wanted to be a film maker, but Univeral Studios did tours that he would go on where he would get to see the streets where the monster movies he loved were filmed. So with that, I tend to think that it did make a difference, growing up in the suburbs and having the chance to go to US. He also mentions that if you weren't from Burbank, you'd think it was the movie capital of the world.
I also think maybe it didn't make a difference, because Tim talked about himself as being quiet in school and just kinding of floating through his teen years. He was very in to movies and drawing, so you could live in anywhere, USA and feel that way.
I don't know. I'm really not sure if it made a difference growing up in the suburbs or not. I'm still scratching my head on that one.
There's a sentence in the book where Tim says, "...I felt most monsters were basically mispercieved, they usually had much more heartfelt souls than the human characters around them." That's Edward Scissorhands and Bela Lugosi in ED WOOD. I think people were treating Bela as some sort of monster with a monkey on his back. Tim managed to bring out the human side of him. I felt so sad for him. He wasn't perceived as a junkie. He was perceived, IMHO, as a man who just got lost along the way. Ed Wood was trying to help him find his way back home.


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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 16 2007, 07:36 PM


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JP

For me it is that environment does not necessarily change who you will grow up to be. It is more that the environment nourishes the person inside and urges that person to come out, even if it is in a backhanded manner. In Tim's case, he rebelled against what he considered to be drab and bland, and thus, his talent for what he calls the "dark" part of his personality (not evil or bad, just dark) was where he found the textures, colors, and meaning that he did not find in everyday suburbia. In that strange, backhanded way, suburbia did nourish and enrich his talent.
Would he be a different person artistically had he lived say, here in Flagstaff, which is a community of educators, free-thinkers, artists, musicians, writers? Who knows? I, myself, do not think so. What I do see happening is that his talent would have been encouraged and developed, and he would not have been quite the outsider he felt he was in his suburb home.


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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 16 2007, 07:36 PM


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deppraved

QUOTE
Quote Originally Posted by JP
Would he be a different person artistically had he lived say, here in Flagstaff, which is a community of educators, free-thinkers, artists, musicians, writers?  Who knows?  I, myself, do not think so.  What I do see happening is that his talent would have been encouraged and developed, and he would not have been quite the outsider he felt he was in his suburb home.

That would have at least made a difference in his feeling more comfortable in his surroundings. At least he and his family knew enough to send him to CalArts. At least he fit in better there.


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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 16 2007, 07:37 PM


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MerryK

Better late than never. All of you have touched on such good points.. I really dont have much to add. The suburban upbringings was obviously touched on in ES.. and I can remember noticing the tract housing and thought on that a bit when I saw EW for the first time. I cant recall it too much in any of his other movies.
I honestly dont think it would have mattered where he was brought up. It seems that wherever you live as a child and teen.. you are always bored with it. And he maybe wouldnt have had the same exposure to the monster/alien movies at the theaters as he did growing up in Burbank but pretty much the same on the tv. I can recall watching so many of those type of moviesin my little suburbia... and it never failed that a few of us kids in my neighborhood always came up with some sort of production for the summer to keep us entertained. I think it has more to do with the era.. the time.. that he actually grew up in.
That's all for me folks.. on to the next one.


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I'm Captain Jack Sparrow, savvy
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