Fig.1 Poster for Edward Scissorhands
Edward ScissorHands was directed by Tim Burton(1990)
The film is set in a 50's styled American suburb, the colours used in the film was based around commercial advertisement that was around in the 50's.
Beyond the town is a mysterious and very dark mountain which really does not fit into the time or place that is set in the film. On top of the mountain was a European gothic looking mansion which was home to the main character "Edward Scissorhands".
The film opens with the classic sales woman (Peg) who goes door to door trying to sell products. Peg was un-successful in her attempts to sell products. Peg decides to go to her car, when she notices the mysterious house in her car mirror.
The camera angle for this scene was very clever in the way that it was shown, the camera was angled towards the side mirror of the car, as the women moved the mirror to focus, and the gothic house came in to view as if this was in the normality of the town.
The scene then cuts to the Peg driving up to the house, and comes into an opening, were everything is beautifully created with shrub sculptures and a pebbled white path, As if to depict that you should not judge a book by its cover theorem, and shows that something dark and un-nerving can open up to something beautiful and creative.
Fig.2 Edward and Kim
Roger Ebert(1990) ”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 neighborhood where all of the houses are shades of pastels and all of the inhabitants seem to be emotional clones of the Jetsons. The warmest and most human resident of this suburb is the Avon lady (Dianne Wiest), who comes calling one day at the castle - not even its forbidding facade can deter her - and finds it occupied only by a lonely young man named Edward (Johnny Depp).” Ebert(1990)
The actual character of Edward Scissorhands is of which seems to be man with a childlike attitude, Edward was an invention of a scientist who lived in the gothic home and so was just like a new born baby, where he would have to be taught as if he was growing up. However the scientist died before Edward could ever be fully developed and this is why he has a childlike attitude and not knowing right from wrong. Edward was also undeveloped, as for hands he had Scissors, although the scientist had made hands for Edward, he died and the hands were destroyed, Edwards was left un-finished and without hands.
Owen Gleiberman (1990)Edward lives in an old gray horror-movie castle that looms up absurdly over the tract houses. It’s there that he was created by the Inventor (Vincent Price), a kindly Gepetto figure who neglected to give him human hands. When the local Avon Lady (Dianne Wiest) pays a visit there and finds Edward sitting alone, she takes him back and makes him a part of her family. The movie turns into a fish-out-of-water comedy, like Splash or E.T., with Edward the humanoid visitor struggling to fit into his new world. Most of the neighbors are amusingly nonchalant about having Edward in their midst. Gleiberman (1990)
Edward in a way comes across as someone who may have an aspergers like personality. Edward struggles with talking to anyone and so has hid away in the house without contact from the outside for many years, Edward also cannot speak clearly and seems to struggle with his words as if he never knows what to say to people. Finally Edward seems to have a creative brain, were his socializing skills and human contact lacks, he has taken up creating magnificent sculptures out of garden shrubs with his scissor hands.
The director could be getting across a message to people, to say that even though everyone is not perfect, people can work with their problems and make a negative into a positive.
Near the beginning of the film Edward is found by Peg, who sees that Edward is not all there and alone, out of sympathy Peg takes Edward into her home to live with her and her family.
Edwards also finds love in the film, the daughter of Peg (Kim) comes home and immediately Edwards start to get feelings for her. It comes as a problem to Edward as one point in the film Edward is asked to break into a house, Edward knew this was wrong but still goes ahead as he loves Kim who asked him to do it.
The breaking in leads to Edward being arrested and so is scared from the traumatic experience. Edward seems to be on edge throughout the rest of the film, as if Edward is going into a dark hole and soon would not be able to come back from it.
Fig.3 Movie still of town
The Towns people in the film is shown mainly of the common house wife of the 50's era, Were the woman would stay and work at home doing cleaning and the odd local job. All the woman as well seem to be connected, as this is a small town, everyone knows everyone, and anything new or exciting that happens in the town is heard about. This is why everyone is suspicious when Peg takes Edward back to her home. Everyone decided that they want to meet Edward as if he's something new in town and everyone wants a piece of him.
The ending of the film is a tragic scene were Edward accidentally hurts Kim's Brother this leads to one of the boys in the movies to start a fight with Edward, Edward accidentally cuts the boys arm and Kim tells Edward to run. Edward returns to his home but is perused by the boy who then tries to kill Edward, Edward retaliates and stabs the boy in the stomach and throws him out the window.
Kim then shows the town people a spare hand of Edwards and tells the Towns people that Edward was killed, From this point on Edward could never return to the town.
The film seems to be a film about love, trickery and loss. Edwards is in love with Kim, The towns people trick Edward into think they like him, but really are just using his gifts for their own interests, as soon as Edward shows signs of struggle, they turn and are against Edward trying to get him out of town. and lastly loss, this is can come into a lot of things in the film, such as the loss of Edwards creator, The loss of Edwards emotional and human like nature that turns him into more of an object rather than a human and lastly the loss of all that Edward had gained while in the town.
Raceme(site) 'This is a wonderful tale about love and kindness, but also about rejection and estrangement. It shows the limits of people's tolerance for what is different from them and how strangers, those who stray from the norm, commonly named 'misfits', awake mockery or fear from a society which will use them and ultimately reject them, thus breaking their innocence and goodness. Though a harsh satire of people's vices, such as deceit, gossip, jealousy, hypocrisy, as well as a tragic witness to the pain and frustration linked to being unable to be accepted as one is by others, the tone is still infused with an ever constant sweetness, gentleness and innocence.'
Roger Ebert (1990) http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/edward-scissorhands-1990
Owen Gleiberman (1990) http://www.ew.com/article/1990/12/07/edward-scissorhands