Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure

Dir: Tim Burton

DoP: Victor J. Kemper

Year: 1985

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Things To Consider

  • When considering Pee Wee’s Big Adventure in term’s of Burton’s career it’s important to note that Burton was working for hire here at the beginning of his career. Pee Wee Herman was an established entity, with an established voice and aesthetic, it would be Burton’s job to translate that voice to the big screen. 
  • Despite directing for hire, there are traces of what Burton would become throughout the film. He is really allowed to indulge his own visual preoccupations in the fantasy sequences, using overly heightened theatrical lighting and colour, it is during these scenes we are seeing the Burton who would go on to make Beetlejuice.
  • Burton’s career is defined by a fascination with oddballs and people who don’t fit into society, and he has an ability to match his style to that of his characters, his Batman is almost melodramatic, Beetlejuice self aware, and here his camera captures the joy and wonder of Pee Wee.

Further Research


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