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Book Review

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Sweeney Todd
The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Hardback)


Author: Mark Salisbury
Titan Books
RRP: £19.99, US $30.00, Cdn $36.00
ISBN-13: 978 1 84576 704 4
ISBN-10: 1 84576 704 7
Available 25 January 2008

Johnny Depp and Tim Burton join forces again in a big-screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's award-winning musical thriller Sweeney Todd. Depp stars in the title role as a man unjustly sent to prison who vows revenge, not only for that cruel punishment, but for the devastating consequences of what happened to his wife and daughter. When he returns to reopen his Barber Shop, Sweeney Todd becomes the Demon Barber of Fleet Street who "shaved the heads of gentlemen who never thereafter were heard from again." This book is the perfect souvenir accompaniment to the movie...

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is Tim Burton's latest movie. Once again he joins forces with Johnny Depp to provide a twisted, dark tale with his own instantly recognisable visual style.

Written by Mark Salisbury, former editor of Empire film magazine who was reportedly the only journalist on the set of the movie, this book has been compiled in close collaboration with Burton and his production team. This beautifully produced companion offers an exclusive look behind the scenes and includes a foreword by Burton, interviews with the cast and crew, the shooting script and over 200 photographs, concept drawings and production designs - including some of Burton's own sketches.

This book features everything you could ever wish to know about the movie. From finding the cast to scoring the music; from the CGI sets to the make-up, no stone is left unturned in Salisbury's quest to impart everything he learned, while on set, to the reader. There's a brief history, of sorts, on the fictious (probably) character of Todd, as well as a look at the problems with translating this production from the theatre to the-big screen.

Titan could have gone either way with this release. It could have offered fans of the movie a dry affair (like its Official Companion series for shows like Stargate and Smallville) but instead it decided to go the value added route of its Firefly: The Official Companion (Vol 1 and 2) series. However, this time it surpassed all that has gone before, going the extra mile to really produce a coffee table edition that will find pride of place in the homes of any Burton or Depp fan.

In the end what we are offered is a beautiful book that will answer just about every question fans will have on the movie making process for Sweeney Todd. Visually stunning, this A4 format hardback book is a must own for all fans of the film.


Darren Rea

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