Watch: Old Short Films from Young Tim Burton & Lars von Trier
By now the names Tim Burton and Lars von Trier are two of the more recognizable filmmakers in the business today, but each for very different kind of films. Tim Burton has been churning out gothic inspired fairytales and fantasy films for years now, sadly with deteriorating quality over the past decade or so. Meanwhile, Lars von Trier is one of the most controversial directors working right now, with sexually charged, violent and risque subject matter and visuals. But before their careers, they were aspiring filmmakers, making precursors to their later work, and we have two of those projects to watch right now.
First up is Tim Burton's Hansel and Gretel. Before the original short film Frankenweenie resulted in a fallout with Disney, the director crafted a half-hour adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairytale. It aired just once on The Disney Channel (which had just launched) in 1983, but then it was gone. Though it has popped up at the Museum of Modern Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and SlashFilm did a write-up on the long-lost project back in 2007, the film has remained relatively unseen. But now you can enjoy in it all it's simple glory, where you can see hints of the kind of films Burton would make in years to come:
This next short film (also found via SlashFilm) throws back to 1967, when Lars von Trier was 11 years old:
This film's title is Turen til Squashland... En Super Pølse Film, which translates to the odd title Trip to Squash Land... A Super Sausage Film. We wouldn't expect anything less from the aspiring filmmaking who would go on to make Antichrist, but this is far more innocent with some dancing rabbits and other assorted creatures acting out a single song with no dialogue. Coming from an 11-year old kid with a Super 8 camera, this is pretty impressive, and it's so damn interesting to see where today's trademark films came from. And before you get any ideas from the end, the word "slut" means "end" so it's not really dirty. Cool?