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ED WOOD

USA, 1994 (MIFF 1995)

Director: Tim Burton

Ed Wood, generally considered to have made some of the trashiest films ever committed to celluloid (Glen or Glenda, Plan9 from Outerspace, I married a Monster) finally gets the star treatment he always dreamt of, in Tim Burton's beguiling and decidedly off-beat homage to the king of the Golden Turkey!

Obviously enamoured of his subject matter, the wildly creative Burton gives Ed Wood the full benefit of his off-kilter aesthetic, elevating the comic saga of this overwhelming underachiever from a cult to a religion—he chose to switch stu­dios rather than abandon shooting the film in gloriously cheesy black and white.

Johnny Depp plays the eccentric Wood-obsessed dreamer whose passion for filmmak­ing is only surpassed by his lack of talent and obsession for wearing women's clothing-with infectious and irrepressible zeal, but Martin Landau's Oscar-winning performance steals the day as the bellicose Bela Lugosi (star of Woods first features), the horror film has-been with a mor­phine addiction.

As the dank aroma of the skid row exploita­tion B-movie evaporates in the simulated tinsel town sunlight, some may wonder whether mainstream America was ready for a dramatised biography of a transvestite alcoholic (and eventual softcore pornographer), but never doubt that this hysterical feelgood tragedy is one of the best films of Tim Burton's eclectic career.

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