Sunday, 13 November 2016

"Edward Scissorhands" (1990)

1 Fig. "Edward Scissorhands" Poster

“Edward Scissorhands” is a film made in 1990 and directed by Tim Burton. It’s an American romantic dark fantasy film, which has strong 50s feeling in it. This film is unique not only because of its plot, but for being really personal to Tim Burton. Also, “Edward Scissorhands” is an inspiring film, which has many time period specialities from the late 20s till the 90s.

The film takes viewers to unrealistic, artificial world where everything appears organised and perfect covered in all kinds of pastel colours. The only one thing that is out of context in this suburb area is a gothic looking castle on the hill at the end of the city. (Fig. 2) As Roger Ebert explains in his review: ''The movie takes place in an entirely artificial world, where a haunting gothic castle crouches on a mountaintop high above a storybook suburb, a goofy sitcom neighbourhood where all of the houses are shades of pastels and all of the inhabitants seem to be emotional clones...''(Ebert, 1990) Seems like the city was split into two sections, colourful and a dark gloomy side. For the gorgeous suburb area Tim Burton gave American 1950s retro style for both fashion and architecture. The audience might wonder why everything is organised and synchronised, every house, street, lawn is exactly the same. (Fig. 3) It’s easy to say that this was taken directly from 50s.Looking back at 1950 period of time, the United States had excellent marketing economic growth, which increased manufacturing and home construction. People had money to buy whatever they wanted. Because of this many people had same things, so that they wouldn’t look dull they were trying to express their individual personalities though colours. There was more advertisement about some things which you can customize as you want, such as fridge or other cookware. In Tim Burton’s film, this shown period of time really pays off, displaying this joyful side. Nevertheless, seeing gothic castle in the faraway distance gives those little shivers. (Fig. 2) This castle breaks the scenery, giving more mysterious, fairy tale look. Also, the first sigh at the castle might leave the impression that German expressionism was used here. Close up to the castle it is possible to see how the gates are covered with vine leaves and tree branches. The castle itself has gothic appearance with crow statues on top of it, also pointy roofs. (Fig. 4) Seemingly it repels people from coming there, as if it shows that it is dangerous. Inside of the castle viewer can strongly see the German expressionism details, such as, crooked walls, white and black range of colour.

 Fig. 3 Suburb area

Fig. 4 Edwards' castle

The main character in “Edward Scissorhands” is Edward, his role was played by Johnny Depp. (Fig. 6) Edward is an unfinished creation made by his madman scientist. This scientist gave everything to his creation: human look, heart, though him everything about human emotions, such as laughter. Only one thing that wasn’t finished, were his hands. The reason why Edward wasn’t finish is dramatically sad, scientist died the same day when he wanted to give Edward real hands.After his death, the grief and isolation Edward experiences are similarly put in the emptiness of the rooms, while a huge hole in the roof represents his strong feeling of loss. (Fig. 5) Moreover, Edward is shown as a pale skin looking guy with many scars on his face from his scrissor-hands. Nevertheless, he is dressed up all in black. As it is known black colour is a colour of death, sadness, loss and it is mostly used at funerals. Even though the castle feels cold, the outside of the castle viewer can see how this lonely soul uses his scissors to express himself by making magnificent topiaries.

Fig. 5 Hole in Edwards castle

In the film Edward is brought into the suburb area by Peg. Peg tried her best to make the innocent, gentle Edward fit in this part of the city. For a while everything appeared fine, Edward is making topiaries for neighbours, doing interesting hairstyles for woman and dogs, but after some point everything turns against him. As if people, would have met him for the first time and would not know his kindness and innocent. Edward is taken as a villain, pushed back to his castle, even though he did nothing bad to anyone. Only for being pure hearted, he gets punished.

Fig. 6 Edward
Fig. 7 Tim Burton in 1990

“Edward Scissorhands” has a beautiful but at the same time upsetting story, based on Burtons past. As this pale looking guy, Edward, is made to represent Tim Burton in his characteristics and look. (Fig. 6 and Fig. 7). As discussed by Steve Biodrowski in his review: “Burton claims […] people who think my films don’t have any psychological value or foundation…. It’s a very deep movie.'" (Biodrowski, 1990) Also, some parts of the film reveal what kind of person is Burton, as Steve Biodrowski says in his review:“During Edward’s TV interview, the director says, ‘I did this to prove that I too can do bad daytime television.’” (Biodrowski, 1990)

Fig. 8 Edward making ice sculptures

In conclusion, “Edward Scossorhands” is a production made for the heart and soul of every human being.  It's kindness and innocence is so strong that it simply makes the audience believe in everything that it shows. As it is said in Peter Travers review: “Edward Scissorhands isn't perfect. It's something better: pure magic.” ( Travers , 1990)

Biodrowski S. (2000) (Acceessed on 10/11/2016)

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  1. Nice review, Karolina :)
    When you are referencing your quotes in the text, you just need the surname and the date, not the initial too.

    1. Thank you! I don't know why, but I always put the initials there. Sorry for it!