This year’s Academy Awards telecast paid tribute to horror films—a genre cited by the presenters as often neglected by the Academy—with a clip reel that featured select masterworks of cinema by directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and Roman Polanski. As I watched the montage, I caught glimpses from Beetlejuice (1988), Edward Scissorhands (1990), and Sleepy Hollow (1999). Although I found their inclusion to be a bit incongruous among films like The Exorcist, Carrie, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, The Ring, and The Blair Witch Project, it nevertheless reaffirmed the popular perception of Tim Burton as a dark, gothic, and macabre filmmaker. Certainly, with Tim’s affinity for skeletons, graveyards, severed heads, and iron maidens—some of the recurrent motifs in his work—the classification of his films into the horror genre would surprise few. However, I propose another genre to be considered when examining Tim’s oeuvre: the musical film. Read more
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