I’m a sucker for a great short film. There is something I find truly spectacular about a filmmaker who can tell powerful and engaging stories in a short space of time. The balance of simplicity and depth is where you can see how talented a filmmaker truly is. Having been a Tim Burton fan since I could turn on a television set and operate a VCR, I revelled in my latent discovery of his gloriously dark Vincent. The seven minute, stop motion animated tale of a young boy lost in macabre fantasies is a true testament to how brilliant Burton really is.
His mother said:
“You’re not possessed and you’re not almost dead.
These games that you play are all in your head.
You’re not Vincent Price, you’re Vincent Malloy.
You’re not tormented or insane, you’re just a young boy.
You’re seven years old and you are my son,
I want you to get outside and have some real fun.”
Expressionist imagery accompanies Vincent Price’s narration of a delightfully dark poem to create a world of magic, misery, humour and obtuse meaning. All the things that Burton has made a career out of. From the short you can see where Burton’s later work grew from, and begin to understand how his magnificent mind works. Unlike most short films, Vincent is near perfect in every way; it is a masterpiece in its own right. Most filmmakers use shorts to practice, experiment and explore the medium. Burton however, shows in this very early work (1982) that he was not only highly confident in his style and form but already a budding master in its execution.
So here is Vincent by Tim Burton, enjoy!