Director Tim Burton explains why he doesn’t watch his own movies. Burton’s first big break came with directing Pee-wee’s great adventure in 1985. The director then had a string of successful films that established him not only as a talent in Hollywood, but also through his displayed unique tone and style. Burton’s 1988 movie beetle juice is considered a classic, which he immediately followed up with that of Michael Keaton Batmanin which the director legitimized superhero films for the big screen.
Burton went on to make memorable films, with Edward Scissorhands, Batman returnsand Ed Wood all of which left their mark in the early 1990s. However, not all of the director’s films have been acclaimed with his remake of Planet of the Apes collecting less than favorable reviews and movies like dark shadows completely absent from the public. However, due to Burton’s unique style, a legion of loyal fans have followed his work over the years, with films such as corpse bride, big fishand Sleepy Hollow.
While speaking with DeadlineBurton spoke about why he doesn’t like watching his own movies. According to the director, he sees every movie as a part of his life, filled with meaningful moments, which makes watching it feel like “your life flashes before your eyes.” Burton then compares the experience to a funeral, but “in a beautiful way.” Check out Burton’s comments about not watching his own movies below:
“I don’t really watch my movies. It was strange to see the clips. I got quite emotional. It feels like every movie you make is part of your life and is very deep and meaningful, so it’s like watching your life flash before your eyes – that’s why I likened it to a funeral in a way, in a beautiful way, it captures moments of your life.”
Tim Burton isn’t the only one avoiding his own work
Burton is far from the only person in Hollywood who doesn’t look at his own work. For example, Adam Driver hates hearing or seeing his own work, even notoriously storming out of an interview when asked to watch a clip of wedding story. Joaquin Phoenix has also stated that he has only seen two of his films, Hair and The teacher, to criticize himself, but he routinely avoids seeing his own movies. Even the most talented actors, such as Meryl Streep, often dislike revisiting their projects, with Streep only watching each of her films once, making the clear choice to focus on what’s to come.
So while Burton is far from alone, it’s rare for directors to avoid the fruits of their labors. Through the editing process and post-production, Burton is likely exposed to different parts of his projects. However, once he locks the photo, he seemingly steps away, which many directors usually don’t. While there are countless examples of directors hating their own films, such as Tomas Alfredson with the snowman or Tony Kaye with American history, there aren’t many examples of directors refusing to watch their films. So while Burton may not be the only one in Hollywood, his distaste for his own work is another of the director’s unique idiosyncrasies.
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