Museum of Modern Art
West 54th St. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.
Through April 26 (closed Tuesdays; Fridays free from 4:00 to 8:00)
Admission: $20 (includes same-day film screening), advance timed tickets recommended
There are only three weeks left in MoMA’s wildly popular Tim Burton retrospective, so you better hurry over if you want to see this vastly entertaining show. (The museum is even extending its hours over the last three days, staying open until 8:45.) More than seven hundred objects are on view, from early sketchbooks and movie models to watercolors and sculpture, from robots and wild short films (Stainboy gets a corridor all to himself!) to costumes and storyboards. It’s a carnival of excess, a virtual wonderland for fans of Burton’s eclecticism. While Burton’s movies are often hit (SWEENEY TODD, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, SLEEPY HOLLOW, ED WOOD) or miss (BIG FISH, PLANET OF THE APES, BATMAN RETURNS), he has developed an often dazzling visual style that is evident throughout the exhibit. Raised in Burbank and currently based in London, Burton seems to have saved everything he has ever done, every idea that came his way, and has included it in the survey, from his early fascination with horror and Vincent Price to his foray into his own fractured fairy tales (just wait till you see the Hansel and Gretel show he made for Disney) and his creative reinvention of stop-motion animation. It’s all here, bringing to life the ecstatic imagination of a crazed genius who’s yet to fully grow up. (which is not necessarily a bad thing).
Fans of Burton’s movies will have a field day with original drawings, vitrines filled with favorite characters, and a reel of the auteur’s earliest shorts, dating from when he was a teenager. In addition to the exhibit, the film series “Tim Burton and the Lurid Beauty of Monsters” still has several screenings left, including THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN’T DIE (Joseph Green, 1962) on April 8, Tex Avery cartoons on April 9, INVADERS FROM MARS (William Cameron, 1953) on April 16, and 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH (Nathan Juran, 1957) on April 25.