Tim Burton’s imagination spills on to the big screen once again this week with his new movie Frankenweenie - a movie that opened the BFI London Film Festival earlier this week.
We continue to look at some of the Burton’s best work and it is Batman that is under the spotlight today.
It was back in 1989 that Burton took on the Batman franchise and the movie remains one of the best superhero movies of all time.
Burton’s gothic tendencies were really on show in this movie as Batman was an incredibly dark film as he created a vision of Gotham City that we hadn’t seen for some time.
There is sweeping gothic architecture that created a real sense of danger and threat throughout - you always felt like there was something sinister just lurking around the corner.
But it is the central performances from Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson that really are the heart and soul of this movie - the scenes were they come face to face really are the most riveting for the whole film.
Both of these characters multi-layered and interesting both social outsiders and perhaps the good guy and the villain are not too different after all - a concept that was explored further in The Dar Knight just under two decades later.
Nicholson’s performance is larger than life and over the top while this is contrasted beautifully with the restraint of Keaton’s Batman.
These polar opposites play perfectly against one another and it is this central relationship that really drives the movie forward.
Nicholson steals every scene that he is in and The Joker remains one of his greatest and most memorable roles.
Burton had to fight to get Keaton cast in the role of Batman but it is a decision that really paid off as Keaton does have a real presence - even if it is not as in your face as Nicholson.
The movie went on to be a huge commercial success as it took over $400 million at the global box office and was the first film to take over $100 million in its first ten days of release.
The genre may have moved on leaps and bounds in the intervening years but Tim Burton’s Batman really did kick off this genre and pave the way for the coming book movies that we see today.
Frankenweenie is released 17th October
FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw