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Directed by Tim Burton

United States 1994 127 mins.

With Ed Wood, Tim Burton lovingly applied a new coat of paint to the tale of the late B-movie director, bringing Wood to the attention of the mass audiences that evaded him throughout his filmmaking career. Johnny Depp plays Wood as an ambitious huckster whose manic creative drive overreaches his ability to discern the ineptitude of his own work. Martin Landau scored an Academy Award for his humanistic and fussy portrayal of Bela Lugosi, whose late-life experiences with addiction and financial ruin found him ensnared in Wood’s cinematic orbit. With a supporting cast that includes Bill Murray, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Vincent D’Onofrio (as Orson Welles), Ed Wood is the rare biopic that doesn’t feel indebted to a strict adherence to reality, instead veering into the kind of phantasmagorical storytelling characteristic of Burton’s best work. Wood’s Plan 9 from Outer Space screens on Thursday, July 14 as part of our Top Down: Rooftop Cinema series.

Genres: Biopic