Today in Movie History: September 30

Tim Burton has recovered from his recent (and lengthy) slump with the modestly delightful Miss Peregrine opening today. It’s fitting, then, that today would also mark the anniversary of hands-down his best movie ever. Ed Wood, the affectionate biopic about the worst filmmaker ever made, paints the infamous shlockmeister as an earnest misfit who’s so madly in love with what he’s doing that it doesn’t occur to him that he’s no good at it. Martin Landau won the Oscar for his pitch-perfect turn as the prideful, dying Bela Lugosi, but the show really belongs to Johnny Depp, whose Ed perfectly encapsulates anyone who ever felt that if only they work a little harder, everything will be okay. Ed Wood opened today in 1994.

Dave McKean’s MirrorMask suffers in part for its CG content, which has dated badly in the ensuing ten years and rubbed some of the sheen off of what once seemed to be a sure-fire masterpiece. And yet it remains a dark, compelling fantasy, thanks in part to the McKean’s┬ábrilliant visual concepts, the fantastic script from┬áNeil Gaiman and a compelling turn from Stephanie Leonidas as another of Gaiman’s patented plucky heroines. MirrorMask opened today in 2005.


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