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Tim Burton talks about 'Alice in Wonderland' and Cannes

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-03-27

Director Tim Burton took time out from publicising his new movie and receiving a French cultural prize to answer some questions about his new 3D film, “Alice in Wonderland”.

Hollywood director Tim Burton stopped off in the City of Lights to talk about his eagerly awaited 3D film adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s classic book, “Alice in Wonderland” (starring Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Anne Hathaway, and Helena Bonham Carter). The famed director was also in the capital to receive the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, France’s highest artistic prize, in a ceremony presided over by the culture minister, Frédéric Mitterrand.

Burton took some time out from publicising his new movie to answer some questions.

Q: Why did you decide to bring a totally new vision of “Alice” and what was the most challenging part of it?

TB: There’ve been many versions before, and I was always interested because I never really liked any version. I felt like in other versions they tried to be too literal. That’s why I like this approach of using the Carroll characters, but using them to explore what his work did for me. Instead of excluding fantasy from reality, he uses the fantasy to explore real themes and real issues. That’s what I’ve always been fascinated in. Your fantasy life and your real life are not exclusive. They’re intertwined, and you often use fantasy to help you in real life.

Q: Did you feel that 3D allowed you to dig deeper into your own vision?

TB: I thought the idea of “Alice in Wonderland” in 3D was a good mix of material and the medium, because of the trippiness of the “Wonderland” material. And the 3D, it’s just to me like another tool. It’s like how you would use colour or sound, and it just kind of brings you into the world more, which is something that was very exciting to me. I don’t think it’s a gimmick; it’s just another tool. I don’t think every movie should be made in 3D, but I think in some cases it really helps bring you into the place. And I really enjoyed it. That’s part of the reason I wanted to do the film as well.

Q: How did you feel when you were named president of the jury for the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, and what are your feelings going into the festival?

TB: I’m quite excited, because I’ve been in kind of a void, a green room, for a couple of years. I haven’t seen any films, so it’s a beautiful, amazing honour. And it’s at a great time, because I’m just so happy to kind of reconnect with movies, with cinema. This was a strange movie to make, and it’s just come at a really beautiful, great time. And so I’m very excited and just want to be open to this new experience. It’s kind of like a wonderland for movies, so I’m quite excited.

Date created : 2010-03-19

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