Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. Mastidon is back and he's got some SWEENEY TODD scenes to tell ya' about as well as a wrap-up of the entire awards ceremony. He even brought you some pictures... my favorite is Depp channeling Jack Sparrow. Enjoy!!!
What's this? What's this? There's magic in the air. I just got in from The Tim Burton Lifetime achievement award ceremony. Full details on that to follow. After the award was given to Tim, he told the crowd he was going to give us a short preview of his new movie Sweeney Todd starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter . The film opens with a style similar to the second Batman with everything having a washed out and almost black & white look. Johnny starts to speak to Helena. There's a real sadness and despair quality to his voice. Helena informs him that his whole family has been killed. He then says my name is no longer (can't remember) but now it is Sweeney Todd so I can seek my revenge. Helena leads him upstairs to what appears to be her apartment. There is a baby crib covered with a blanket. She tells Johnny that its ok to look. He removes the blanket to reveal a dead baby. He then covers it back up. Helena bends down to remove a floorboard. She pulls out a case covered in dust. She removes the dust and hands it to Johnny. Johnny opens it with a gleam in his eye to reveal a box full of old fashioned razor-blade style knives. The camera has a long pause on the knives. Helena informs him that the knives are all silver. He agrees to that. He pulls one out and opens it. Johnny Depp then starts to SING!!!!!! Yes, you read that correctly. Johnny sings on camera. Not a body double. Not an animated figure. But Johnny himself. And I'm here to tell you he has a killer voice. I wish I had a recording of the lyrics for you. Johnny sings a love song to the razor blade as he holds it in his hand! The song is about how happy he is to finally have the blade in his hands for his sweet revenge. Towards the end of the song, Helena joins in and they sing a duet to a knife!!!!! The scene ends with Jonny holding the knife in his hand and he says "Now, my arm is complete!" The camera pulls back through the window to reveal a city from the 1800s. Lights come up. The audience is stunned. Dumb luck brought me to this evening. I am forever grateful to an Italian woman who I will never see again. My day started yesterday with waking from a few hours sleep after returning back from "The Hunting Party". I grabbed the first boat over to Lido where the festival is held and headed to the ticket office. It was raining like mad and there appeared to be no line whatsoever. When I went up to the main window, a guy approached me to ask if I was here for Tim Burton tickets. When I said yes, he informed me I had to get on the list. The lovely list had at least 60 people on it ahead of me who camped out in the pouring rain for a chance to get a ticket. After waiting about a half hour but still 40 minutes before the box office opened, I decided to take a risk and head to the circus tent. The risk paid off. Once there, I was given a number, 20. Far better than what I had at the main office. The windows open at 8:30 on queue. The line moved very fast. The girl in front of me gets to the window, turns around and says that the event has sold out. F**K!!!! At that same moment, another Italian woman asks me if I want to buy a ticket. I asked how much. She said 40 Euros (face). It seems that the people in line all agreed to each buy at least 2 tickets to help everyone else out and since I was next in line, I won the lotto. The ticket was 3rd row center. Not exactly what you want for a movie screening. However, it is EXACTLY what you want for an awards ceremony.
The evening began with a 15 minute montage from all of Burton's films. Ed Wood, Both Batmans, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Mars Attacks, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Big Fish were the most heavily featured. The lights came up. One of the directors of the festival came out. Spoke lots of Italian that I had no clue about. Introduced another guy who also spoke lots of Italian. Then they introduced Tim. Tim came out and started speaking without a microphone. Somebody realized and handed him one. He gave the usual bit about what a great honor it was but what really mattered to him was that Venice is a festival about movies, not about business so the award seemed more special coming from them. One of the festival directors then introduced Johnny Depp who then came out and took the microphone from Tim. Johnny talked about that not only was Tim his favorite director but he was also his best friend. He said the usual thanks and then asked if he could "get on with it and just give Tim this thing". The director clearly didn't understand what he meant and after saying it a second time, Johnny picked up the statue and handed it to Tim. All of this action occurred about 10 feet in front of me. Somehow I had a much better seat than any press. Talk about dumb luck. The speeches ended with Tim introducing Sweeney Todd followed by saying they would screen Nightmare Before Christmas in digital 3D, the way it was intended to be shown.
Lights went down, Sweeney Todd played, Johnny sings, lights went up. Hot young Italian girls passed out 3-D glasses to the audience. The audience oooed and awed then applauded when Johnny put on his. No surprise there. Lights went down, they did a test to verify if 3-D was working, then started the film. Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D First let me tell you, I love this film. I own it on DVD, have the soundtrack on my iPod. This is actually not the first time I have seen it in digital 3D. I read a report saying this was the world premier but that was certainly not the case as I was able to catch a screening of it last October in London's Leicester Square. The film fits perfectly to the digital format. 3D is not abused to make you jump but more as a tool to give everything dimension. With the claymation and movement, things just flow better. Being in the 3rd row, I had a kind of IMAX style experience watching it. Thoroughly enjoyable. Never felt too close but more right in the thick of it. If Nightmare's holiday release runs in your area, take somebody who hasn't seen it before as it's great to see it again just like all great holiday movies. Always will be right up there with "A Christmas Story" and "It's a Wonderful Life" as something to watch once a year.
With that, the lights came up and my Venice experience ended. I could not have asked for a better end to a perfect trip. I'll send you guys a wrap up with final thoughts and recaps of all tomorrow. Ciao from Venice! -Mastidon (not Mastodon damnit!)-