Burton reimagines the classic Washington Irving story about the Headless Horseman and timid, neurotic Ichabod Crane. Depp's Crane is not the superstitious schoolteacher of the original story, but a firmly rational constable, haunted by his own past, who is aiming to use the most modern forms of analysis to solve a series of gruesome murders plaguing the upstate hamlet of Sleepy Hollow. Burton creates an intensely moody rural town, shrouded in constant fog, ringed with craggy forests and peopled by an eccentric mix of hearty characters—among them patrician town elder Balthus Van Tassel (Gambon) and his witchcraft-dabbling daughter Katrina (Ricci). Shot by visionary cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, Sleepy Hollow pays tribute to the lurid yet murky atmosphere of England's Hammer Film Productions, whose favorite horror star Christopher Lee cameos here. "This splendid, shuddering contraption has a dazzling purity of vision… The mood isn't grim but Grimm. Burton directs the grisly action as though it were a jolly puppet show, another Nightmare Before Christmas. Sleepy Hollow gallops along at a goodly clip, offering a number of breathless (or should we say, headlong) thrill rides. The main attraction in this magic kingdom is Burton's gorgeous production design. The images are as rich as compost; every clammy detail is subordinate to the whole… mixing fear of the primeval woods with the guilt arising from colonial rebellion. The Horseman serves as an all-purpose return of the patriarchal repressed—a mutilated, yet potent, remnant of the American Revolution."—J. Hoberman, The Village Voice.
Bing Theater | Included in double-bill, $5 admission for this film only. | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online.