Monday, 6 October 2014

Tim Burton Saves the Day in Prague

I'm the first to admit (and I'm sure Genevieve will concur) that I was grumpy on my last day in Prague. I was super sick- as in I phoned into work later that morning to call in sick for the following day and my boss didn't recognise my voice- and feeling sorry for myself. We'd got up super early to have breakfast with Nick & Pete (our awesome guide and driver for the week), and then half of us had set of on our merry way. The other half of us had gone to nap back in our dorm room- well, in Genevieve's dorm room since the other girls had already checked out. We checked out exactly when we had to, leaving our bags back at the hostel and got on a tram to re- explore Prague.

oogie boogie, the nightmare before christmas
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Except, my voice had abandoned me, my temperature was soaring through the sky, and the last thing I wanted to do was be elbow to elbow with hundreds of other tourists crossing the Charles Bridge. Again. Yes, I was grumpy. And muttering angrily, spewing profanities under my breath. After revisiting the Lennon Wall, we went to the main square to find a tourist information booth and find out where the nearest Pharmacy was (to at least get something to bring my temperature down) & where the nearest park was- after exerting all our energy getting into the centre of Prague we wanted somewhere quiet and chilled. The guy in the tourist office gave us directions for somewhere Genevieve thought was too far and, whilst I was in the pharmacy she had been searching for somewhere closer on her map app.

We followed the directions and crossed a bridge over the Vltava River where we found some steps. The climb gave us beautiful views of The City of a Thousand Spires, and I used this as an excuse to stop a thousand times- when really it was the Croatia Cough, I had coughing fits, couldn't breathe & needed to drink a lot more water than usual. When we reached the top we found a green park, which we later learned (as in, about a week ago) was the Letná Park. We found the closest shady tree, and slumped against it and napped. I woke myself (and probably Genevieve, too, tho' she was too polite to say) coughing & we decided that it was probably lunch time.

We wandered back to the hot and busy main square in Prague, some crazy figure had caught my eye several times, but I'd pushed it to the back of my mind. The square was constantly busy with the usual tourists, horse and carts and what not, but this time we'd landed pretty much on top of it, and that's when we discovered that the Tim Burton Exhibit was in town. I adore Tim Burton, so dragged Genevieve in, it was just around lunch time, we dumped our bags and visited the exhibit.


Day Two hundred and sixty: Burtonesque
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It was split into four sections, two of his sketchbook drawings and figures, a cinema and, of course, a gift store. As soon as we walked in, the place was decorated in Tim Burton-esque black and white stripes. The sketches and drawings weren't just from films I knew like Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride & Alice in Wonderland, but also films that ended up not being released about aliens and similar things. As well as that, there was a letter written from Tim to Johnny Depp about how he should play the role of the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. It was fascinating!

Much of the exhibit are things never meant to be seen by the public, like the afore mentioned letter, but it's all part of the creative process. Tim Burton himself said, "For me drawings have always been a way of thinking, a form of communicating.... I was never a very good speaker, talker, so I always found it was easier for me to communicate through drawing". All the items on display have his signature carinvalesque interplay between comedy and the grotesque. The main theme of the exhibition was to explore the well meaning yet misunderstood outcast who rebels against conformity. A similar exhibit went up in MoMA in NYC in 2009 (where many of the images from this post are taken from), but Burton's thoughts were that, whilst this exhibit was smaller, Prague was a unique city & deserved it's own take on the exhibit.


elder gutknecht, corpse bride
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We managed to catch Corpse Bride, in the basement cinema where we were given warm, snuggly blankets. We ended up stuck in the middle of the cinema, when the back would've been better. The two of us kept nodding off through the film, a mixture of tiredness, sickness and being too comfy in those blankets- to the point that I woke myself coughing & we decided we probably ought to leave. I love the film, I do, but as you know I was sick & felt bad coughing in a cinema full of people- spreading my germs around! After a couple of hours of walking around, and a portion of the film, we left the museum, feeling slightly better- at least more cheerful than I started, and realising at least I didn't look like Elder Gutknecht (above)- and went in search of lunch...


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24 comments:

  1. sounds like a fun exhibit. I love movie memorabilia. Sorry you were sick though!

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    1. Thanks, I was pretty rough! It took forever to shift- nearly a month after I got home! The exhibit was awesome especially for someone like me who enjoys Tim Burton's work so much, especially within stop motion films.

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  2. I love quirky things like this...and Prague...Prague is definitely one of my favorite cities in Europe.

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    1. I really didn't like Prague :O yeah, yeah, I'm an anomaly I know. I loved this exhibit tho' :)

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    1. It really was, it was super interesting :)

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  4. Tim Burton really did save your Prague day! I enjoy seeing different forms of expression like this and have always been impressed by his imagination. It's great that he found outlets for his creativity through drawing and the eventual stories and movies that they spawned. Glad you were able to find this exhibit and get closer to Burton's work.

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    1. He really did :) and I do really adore his work, so it was definitely something I enjoyed visiting. Thanks for the comment Dave :)

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  5. Such great images! I love his work!

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    1. Me too :)
      the images aren't mine, unfortunately, I creative commons'd them! I was much too sick to think about taking photo's at the time.

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  6. I love stumbling into exhibits I wasn't expecting when traveling. Sounds like it was able to brighten your day. It is never fun being sick and wanting to still be a productive traveler!

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    1. Me too, I had absolutely no idea it was there, I'd seen the weird monster across the square, it just didn't register!

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  7. What a unique exhibition this is and definitely something that intrigues me. I have always been interested in exploring Prague so hopefully we will get over there sometime soon to check out this among many other cool, unique attractions that this part of the world has to offer!

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    1. In my opinion Prague is like a cheaper, tacky version of Berlin. It has too many Starbucks, Costa Coffee's, and Western chain brands to be considered Eastern Europe (tho I know they think of themselves as central European). Plus it's too busy. I guess if you visited in the winter it would be better, but still, I wouldn't bet on it.

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  8. I love Tim Burton's work, so this looks like a lot of fun to explore! Sorry to hear that you weren't feeling well, but I'm glad you made the best of it!

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    1. So do I :) I adore stop motion movies, too which made it even more interesting :)

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  9. Love it! I wish this had been in Prague while I was there, I love Tim Burton.
    It sucks you were ill, but it seemed worth it!

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    1. It was totally worth it, the perfect antidote :)

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  10. Glad you made the best out of a not so great day to begin with! I feel your pain, lol I cried the first time I lost my voice!!! I love Tim Burtons stuff so this would have cheered me up as well!

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    1. Yeah it was definitely a great thing to do :)

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  11. Great way to see something else than just the regular Prague ...

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    1. Yeah for sure, especially when you don't think Prague is all that .

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  12. Somehow Tim Burton fits in really well with Prague! Must be the creepy/gothic atmosphere....

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