Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Figure 1. Edward Scissorhands Poster

It’s no doubt that Edward Scissorhands is a popular film but as Biodrowski says in his review “Edward Scissorhands really does work as a complete film, mixing a fairy tale sensibility with a satiric view of life in the suburbs and crystallizing for the first time the essential themes underlying Burton’s work.” (Biodrowski, 2000). This film shows Edward, a boy with scissorhands, struggling to deal with the strange suburbs. He’s faced with the idea of conformity and trying to fit in even though he is strange.
Figure 2. Hug still

It’s no doubt that this film is a poke at society. Larson describes the film as “the cinema’s most enchanting parable about the misunderstood and alienated artist.” (Larson, Unknown). Edward is this stranger in the suburbs and at first he struggles to fit in until his neighbours start to appreciate his artistic skills. It’s only then that his strangeness is accepted because he becomes useful and part of their conformity. This is shown when Edward cuts their hedges for them, even though they all ask for different types of hedges to be cut they still all have to have one just like their neighbours. There is this underlying element of beauty in the strange and some love Edward just as he is, this is shown in the relationship between Edward and Kim. As shown in figure 2 Kim asks Edward to hug her, accepting his strangeness and showing that she loves him for who he is.

 Figure 3. Street Still 

A key strength of this film is the production design. Maslin mentions in his review that “the production design is the central good idea, perhaps even the sole one.” (Maslin, 1990). In the film the bright colourful houses in the suburbs juxtapose the gloomy castle in which Edward is found in. It’s odd however that the castle seems almost safe and comforting in comparison to the suburbs. It’s the suburbs instead that seem odd and uncomfortable with its idea of conformity.

Edward Scissorhands has a good story with lots of hidden ideas and meanings, it’s production design is strong and aides well to the story.

Illustration List
Burton, T (1990) Figure 1. Edward Scissorhands Poster http://images.moviepostershop.com/edward-scissorhands-movie-poster-1990-1020280845.jpg (Accessed on 9/12/14)
Burton, T (1990) Figure 2. Hug still http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Edward-Scissorhands-movie-still.jpg (Accessed on 9/12/14)
Burton, T (1990) Figure 3. Street Still http://fogsmoviereviews.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/edward_scissorhands_hill.png (Accessed on 9/12/14)

Larson, J (unknown) http://www.larsenonfilm.com/edward-scissorhands (Accessed on 9/12/14)



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