Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Ed Wood Review

Ed Wood

Ed Wood (1994) - Directed by Tim Burton

Fig. 1

Ed Wood is a biopic of Edward D. Wood Jr. who has been labelled as being 'the worst director of all time' looking into his life through the 50's. It follows the films he made during the period including his most famous Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959), his transvestism, and his friendship of the unemployed horror star Bera Lugosi.

Fig. 2
A staggering thing about Burton's film is not just the recreation of the sets of Wood's films but the uncannily likeness that Depp and the other actors and actresses share with their characters, most striking being Landau as Lugosi. Much of the screen time is placed upon the relationship that Wood and Lugosi shared and is incredibly touching. Wood realises that the once great man is falling and cares for him as his drug addiction spirals out of control paying him the respect Wood's knows he deserves. McCarthy writes in his review "Lifting all this enormously is Landau's astounding performance as the old Hungarian. Looking (thanks to a terrific makeup job) and sounding very much like the real thing, Landau brilliantly conveys the ego, pride, hurt and gratitude of the man in his twilight and, despite his character's grand theatricality, gives the film its most human moments." (1994) Landau plays the character well giving a strong performance as the audience sympathise with the crashing ego of a star as he struggles through hurt producing touching moments with Depp's Edward.

Fig. 3
Although labelled as the worst director Burton's film finishes on a high for Ed as he leaves his premiere of Plan 9 (1959) to marry Kathy. The audience root for Ed as Burton reveals his struggle with revealing his true self as a lover of women's clothing, the fire and ambition that Ed had and the friendships he had with many misfits. Burton has rescued Ed Wood from the critics slightly in this fiery and comical portrayal of him and showing the utmost respect on leaving out his downfall to alcoholism. Burton wants to show the heart that Wood had in producing his own vision in the comical lengths such as the theft of an octopus. Maslin in her review writes "His daring deserves to be legendary: he made films on a shoestring, raised funds by hook or by crook, and really did steal a fake octopus for use in a scene with Bela Lugosi, who had to wrestle with the thing in a shallow pool of water (as depicted in "Ed Wood"). He also lovingly resurrected the aging Lugosi, rescuing him from oblivion just as Mr. Burton rescues Ed Wood today." (1994)


Fig. 4
A comical film with heart wrenching moments the attention to detail that Burton pursues in his attempt to recreate the sets of Plan 9, the likeness of the characters and the obvious respect that he shows the flawed director in his characteristics produces an enjoyable watch.

References:


Text:


McCarthy, Todd (Sep. 6, 1994) - Ed Wood Review - http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117903075?refcatid=31

Maslin, Janet (Sep. 23, 1994) - Ed Wood - Ode to a Director Who Dared to be Dreadful - http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9405E0DA143AF930A1575AC0A962958260&partner=Rotten%20Tomatoes


Images:


Fig 1 - http://www.euronet.nl/users/mcbeijer/dan/burton/pix/edwood.gif

Fig 2 - http://img.filmous.com/static/photos/301/3_midi.jpg

Fig 3 - http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lrdwip5JSP1qbpm3fo1_500.jpg

Fig 4 - http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_tRRSWeXGJzY/SheRILBWlII/AAAAAAAAAQ4/Xn117wpKBIM/s400/ed_wood.jpg

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