1. Did This Blog Play A Part In The Making of Tim Burton’s Margaret Keane Biopic “Big Eyes”…?

    YOU’RE FAMILIAR with Margaret Keane’s work, of course – the kitschy paintings (and prints, and posters and postcards and so on) from the 1960s of the sad waif-like kids with the big eyes. Why, you yourself probably collected them as whatever forerunner to today’s hipster you didn’t consider yourself, but actually were, 20 years ago, when they’d still occasionally pop up in thrift stores. Did all that make sense?


    And you must have heard about the movie “Big Eyes,” but if not: Why, it’s a marvelous little film that tells the story behind those peepers and finally gives artist Margaret Keane her due. A Tim Burton film it is, believe it or not – despite neither Johnny Depp nor Helena Bonham Carter being anywhere in sight, and with a soundtrack by, yes, Danny Elfman that somehow doesn’t go dunt-dunt dunt-dunt dunt-dunt, BOOM BOOM! BOOM BOOM!, dunt-dunt dunt-dunt dunt-dunt, BOOM BOOM! BOOM BOOM! And so on.


    I won’t waste your time commenting on the film itself other than to note I liked it nearly as much as I hated “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” which is to say, “quite a lot.”

    What I will point out though is that the look of this film (set mostly in the late 1950s and early 1960s) is pretty much flawless. If you’re an annoying hipster of today (or whatever the rest of us all were 20 years ago), one thing’s for sure – you’re just going to go on and on and on about all the “mid-century” set design and decoration, because if there’s anything hipsters of today (and of the last 20 years) love more than “mid-century” furnishings and architecture (and “Eames Era”-anything), brother, I don’t know what it is. Well, other than just saying the phrase “mid-century.” Or using it to describe their eBay offerings.


    But where does your old pal Ted and his unassuming little blog come in?

    At one point in the film – spoiler alert! – Margaret is worn down from painting her Big Eyes non-stop and, at a supermarket, hallucinates seeing people in the store with similarly enormous orbs. At the beginning of the scene, Keane (Amy Adams) walks by an endcap (industry term) of Southgate products. Oh, they’re out of focus, sure, but make no mistake – they’re Southgate, all right!


    “Wait,” you say, “Southgate – that sounds familiar…”  Well, for God’s sake, it should – their products were featured twice under my brilliant Delightfully Anachronistic Package Design posts. It was even on the mid-term!

    Anyway, a moment later, another shopper turns to look at her, and…


    …well, if you’re like me – and you are – you’re dumbstruck to see an aisle largely comprised of Delightfully Anachronistic Package Design Hall-of-Famers: Jiffy brand products. Also, apparently the image of the shopper herself is slightly off-putting as well. I guess.

    And so I say to you: Clearly someone on the production team for this film did a Google search on “anachronistic package design” to look for contemporary items they could use in this scene, happened upon my blog, realized “By Godfrey, this Ted fellow has done all our work for us!” and ordered a few dozen cases of Southgate and Jiffy products for that period look they were going for.

    Clearly this is what happened.

    I imagine everyone involved in the production of the film will deny it (of course!) but I’ll be nice and keep my mouth shut for a while and not tell anyone (aside from you, my – what? – six readers). But the day will come when I’ll refuse to keep living a lie, come clean and the truth will be out. Also, I imagine there’ll be some kind of lawsuit with a dramatic courtroom scene.

    Eventually, however, I’ll be recognized for the genius I am (and you guys are ahead of the rest of society on this one, already aware of this as you are) and perhaps, a movie will be made about my whole ordeal.

    I just hope at that point Amy Adams will still be young enough to play me.

    Posted by on January 15, 2015, 3:08 AM.

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