"Discuss how Tim Burton establishes genre and narrative in the opening 5 minutes of Edward Scissorhands and Sleep Hollow"

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Ola Ayegbusi

10k1/Mr Gleghorn


“Discuss how Tim Burton establishes genre and narrative in the opening 5 minutes of Edward Scissorhands and Sleep Hollow”

Genre is the French word for ‘type’. Type is the kind of text it is. The genre of a film text may be Sci-Fi, Horror, Action, Romantic, Comedy, etc. In most films, the genres are combined, this is known as a ‘hybrid genre’. Narrative of a film is the structure or order in which the plot (sequence of event) is presented to an audience. This piece of coursework is going to discuss how Tim Burton establishes genre and narrative in the opening five minutes of two films, ‘Edward Scissorhands’ and ‘Sleepy Hollow’.

Timothy William Burton was born in Burbank, California, USA on August 25th in 1958. He was not very good in school but found pleasure in painting, drawing and movies. He loves monster films such as Godzilla, and Vincent Price was one of his heroes. Vincent Price was an actor. He worked with Tim Burton when Tim became a director. Be fore he became a director, he was animator. Vincent Price sadly died in 1993. Tim tends to use dark colours in his films and is also known to be weird.

There is always music in a film at least one type. Music creates effect In Edward Scissorhands, the music in the beginning is choral. Choral mean ‘to be sung by a choir’. This is informs the audience that it is a Holy time such as Christmas. It is very spiritual and the atmosphere is heavenly. In the same way, the music in Sleepy Hollow is also choral; however it makes the audience think of death or a sad time rather than a good, peaceful time like in Edward Scissorhands. Although it is heavenly, the tone and the pitch of the choir sound kind of sad and the viewers can connect heaven to death. The music in Edward Scissorhands makes the audience want to cry (tears of joy) whereas in Sleepy Hollow, because you get a sense of death, it makes one wonder who the victims are, who the murderers are and why they are being murdered.

Credits in films are very important because it gives the audience an idea of what the genre of the film is. Credits at the beginning of films and it show the name of the main actors and actresses that are going to appear in the movie. Jim Carrey is an example of an actor who when the audience sees his name in the credit, they automatically know that there’s going to be a bit of comedy in the film. One major character in both films where played by Johnny Depp. Before the film credits in Edward Scissorhands the audience can see that the 20th Century fox logo is covered in snow. This emphasises the time the film was released and it informs the audience that the period of time in which the film is set.

In Edward Scissorhands, there is a heart shaped biscuit while the credits were being show, making the viewers wonder what is going on and what’s going to happen. It suggests that the film is probably about loving. There is an also human hand shown which the audience connects with the title and as well with the narrative. At the end of the credits, the title of the film is shown. The word ‘Edward’ and ‘Scissorhands’ were on top of another and it opens and closes like a scissors, which relates to the title. But this doesn’t really address the audience the genre of the film. The way the credits in Sleepy Hollow on the other hand, do the audience a clue of the film genre because as they were showed, you can see that the names had were misty. This creates suspense and mystery. As the title was showed in Edward Scissorhands, the camera zooms in. The effect it has is that it directs the audience into the film, sort of like an invitation. It makes the audience feel as if there are going into the life of a character.

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The genre for Edward Scissorhands is Fantasy/Fairy Tale ands Sleepy Hollow is a Gothic Horror genre. Gothic means that the setting is in the medieval times where people dependent on nature such as forests and woodlands, water and self-made homes. Sleepy Hollow is set in the 18th century, 1799, which is ideal for Gothic Horror.

The beginning of Edward Scissorhands established the narrative rather well. There is an image of the face of an old man that looks like a stereotypical inventor; the audience wonders what his place is in the film. This man is seen later in parts of the ...

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