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Intelligent Life Can Be Found Elsewhere! On Mars Attacks!

Yann Calvet


When compared to Tim Burton’s earlier films, Mars Attacks! (1996) suggests a kitch blockbuster bearing early signs of the Burbank filmmaker’s prolonged inspirational crisis. Maybe one should start by saying that Mars Attacks, as pleasant as it may be, lacks coherence in its narrative and depth in its characters who verge on the caricatural. The profits generated by Mars Attacks! Are from unsatisfactory, since its one hundred million dollars benefit largely refunded its seventy million dollars budget. However it is true that despite its impressive cast of actors, it met with little success in the US box-office, though the opposite was true of its reception in Europe. For the studios, the film meant the end of their infatuation with Burton. American values such as the army, science, power symbols, religion, and public shows, as well as the American Way of Life, were all being satirized. Tim Burton told Mark Salisbury: “I focused at once on the ‘beware of appearances’ theme. My feelings about America and the world at large were very weird. I felt as if everything was falling to pieces. This is why I was drawn to anarchy and found it in the script and in the Martians”.
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hal-01937603 , version 1 (28-11-2018)


  • HAL Id : hal-01937603 , version 1


Yann Calvet. Intelligent Life Can Be Found Elsewhere! On Mars Attacks!. Tim Burton, a cinema of transformations, Presses universitaires de la Méditerranée, pp.193-201, 2018, (Horizon anglophones. Série Profils américains), 978-2-36781-259-5. ⟨hal-01937603⟩
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