Tim Burton's "seductively dark visions" illuminate SWEENEY TODD, says Los Angeles Times

“SWEENEY TODD, which opens December 21, [. . .] is a beautifully scored, high-art slasher film,” writes Paul Brownfield in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times (issue date Nov. 25), “told almost entirely in song and topped off with [Johnny] Depp paying homage to Lon Chaney and Boris Karloff.” About the two leads, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, Brownfield writes, “The pairing of Depp, with dead eyes and big, scary hair, and Bonham Carter lends a different vibe to the twisted relationship between Todd and Mrs. Lovett. They’re almost heroin-chic-looking, the guy thirsting for blood and the girl counseling patience. [. . .] Burton likens his SWEENEY to a relationship movie.”

The quick shoot and relatively low budget for SWEENEY TODD ($50 million, modest by current standards) didn’t bother the director: “I would have liked a couple more days of shooting things,” Burton told the Times, “but, you know what? I prefer it this way. You can have a $200-million budget and feel like you’re being choked to death.” Nor was the story’s gore a problem: “Burton has long thought the violence in the show was more illustrative than literal–an orgiastic release,” writes Brownfield. As for those Internet rumors that claimed Burton was told to cut back on the blood spilled, they are not true. Burton tells the Times that he told the movie executives exactly what to expect and had no pressure to deviate from his vision of SWEENEY: “The first thing that came out of my mouth was, ‘There’s going to be blood in the movie, so don’t even ask.’ “

The Zone thanks Emma for posting the L.A. Times story; you can read it in full on the Zone’s News & Views forum, or here: http://tinyurl.com/35cw89 The story includes a lovely Peter Mountain photograph of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp on the set; you can see it here: http://tinyurl.com/yu3ch6

For a link to a wonderful video of Johnny singing “Epiphany” from SWEENEY TODD –footage of him in the recording studio– click here: http://tinyurl.com/yv36p3 The Zone thanks FANtasticJD for first posting the video link. –Part-Time Poet

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