Referential, reflexive, metaphorical – these are a few recurrent terms and concepts used to describe the films of Tim Burton, which attest to the links between this corpus and the history of his art and his era. Based on this observation, the present hypothesis argues that Burton’s filmography is a cinema of re-imagination. The filmmaker himself uses this term to describe the conceptual approach to his films. This dissertation explains the choice of re-imagination in regard to other pre-existing concepts before analyzing the implications of re-imagination in Tim Burton’s filmography. His films are designed like toy chests in which memories, imagination, and intact pieces are collected. These elements establish the formal base of Tim Burton’s re-imaginings. They come together to form a single image by means an often tenuous narrative thread. By adopting cinematographic and filmic processes which look back to prior eras of the seventh art, and by bringing stories into the domain of the imagination through the intermediary of mental manifestations, Tim Burton builds a cinema that is anchored in the past, all while trying to restore the kingdom of childhood with what is left behind.
Keywords : Tim Burton, re-imagination, reimagination, American cinema, dream, childhood, B movies, fantasy, film aesthetics, film criticism, film history, animation.