Produce a written study of ‘Edward Scissorhands’ examining how the director, Tim Burton blends different genres to create a suburban fantasy.
In the film Edward Scissorhands Tim Burton creates a suburban fantasy by explaining his interpretation of what it is like to live in a suburb. The definition of suburb is living in the outskirts of a town and having limited interests and narrow minded views.
Tim Burton creates suburbia and practically makes a parody of the suburb where the family live. The women typify the definition of a suburban housewife; they stay at home, clean and cook. They are always on each others doorsteps trying to get the latest gossip and they always know what everyone is up too. Tim Burton mixes this with his imagination making it a suburban fantasy. He does this by creating Edward and the dark castle where he stays. This is just one example of the many different genres that Tim Burton uses for instance: Horror, comedy and romance. Examples of horror in the film are the castle where Edward lives, Tim Burton has made it look really old, dirty, haunted and derelict from the outside but you associate dark haunted castles with horror films. Tim Burton creates comedy by making a joke of the fact that Edwards’s hands are scissors he does this when Edward pops the water bed whilst trying to get out. Tim Burton also creates romance where Edward falls in love with Kim.
Tim Burton has a particular directing style that appears to show in his other films such as: Beetlejuice, Mars Attacks, Ed Wood, Big Fish, Planet of the Apes, Batman and Sleepy Hollow. I viewed Beetlejuice and compared the genre, setting, plot and characters with Edward Scissorhands. Tim Burton borrows ideas from his other films for instance; he likes to use the same actors or actresses for the main characters:
E.g. Jonny Depp plays Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood he is also in some other Tim Burton Films like Sleepy Hollow. Michael Keaton plays Beetlejuice and Batman but is also in other Tim Burton Films. Winona Ryder plays Kim in Edward Scissorhands and the little girl in Beetlejuice she has also played different parts in other Tim Burton films one of them was Mars Attacks. Tim Burton uses the same actors because he has worked with them before and knows if they can do it he also knows that he could rely on them.
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In Edward Scissorhands there is a typical stereotype castle where Edward was created, in contrast with the house in Beetlejuice where the couple that lived there died and now haunt it, so it’s the same idea and I think that Tim Burton Is trying to say to the audience that these big houses are haunted and things do lurk around in the night. Why he has the same idea twice could be because he wants to get his point across in different ways so that people will see his views and take notice of them I think he is trying to influence the audience. Another similarity was that when Edward is brought down from his home he has to learn to socialise compared to Beetlejuice when the couple die they have to learn the rules of the dead, so again the idea is the same. In both films Tim Burton creates black humour by making a joke of Edwards struggle to get along in the community and the fact that a couple have died and now they have to learn all these new rules. Tim Burton could b saying that people have
there own ways of living and if there comfortable with then you shouldn’t try and change them.
Alex Welham 11T
Tim Burton likes to use a variety of different genres he also creates fantasy in Edward Scissorhands right at the beginning when you see an old lady reading a story to a little girl, it’s snowing outside and the story starts with ‘Once upon a time’.
The story is about an inventor who lives by himself and feels lonely so he invents Edward as a kind of son and friend. The inventor dies before he completes Edward and so leaves him with scissors for hands. One day Peg goes up to the castle and finds Edward and brings him back to her home. Edward sees a picture of Kim and fall’s for her at first sight. When Edward arrived everyone was talking about him in a interesting way and is liked by the community, until a unfortunate event where one lady did not get her own way with Edward so she spread a rumour that Edward had tried to take her clothes off. Kim’s boyfriend thinks that Edward is a freak and is amused by the fact that Edward fancies Kim. But he realises that Kim is falling for Edward he isn’t to happy and tries to threaten Edward but when Edward tries to defend himself everyone comes out and it looks like Edward is attacking him so the community start to turn on Edward and he his disliked around the area. Eventually he goes back up to his home where he stays in peace and happiness.
Within the main story there are other stories going on like the romance between Edward and Kim and the fact that Edward would do anything that Kim asked him to do even if it got him into trouble, which it does when he is blamed for robbing a house.
Another story going on is when everyone realises that Edward has a talent in cutting hedges and hair and he tries to take out a business loan to start a salon but because he was invented he doesn’t exist so he can’t take out a loan and it all dies away and nothing is heard of it again. One more story would be the flashbacks Edward has when he and the inventor were living in the castle and he remembers learning table manners and the inventor teaching him poetry. The last memory Edward has of the inventor is when he reveals Edwards hands to him but soon after showing him he falls over and dies before he can put them on Edward.
Edward is played by Jonny Depp, in the film Edward is given a very pale face. Tim Burton has done this because he isn’t real so there wouldn’t be any blood in his body giving it that pinkie lifelike look.
In the film Edward learns how to be around different people and experiences a taste of the real world. Edward is a very, very shy person not used to being around being around others, he likes it when he is by himself or his inventor but unfortunately his inventor died. Kim is played by Winona Ryder, she is a very good looking teenage girl, Tim Burton has made this effect by having everything about her done to perfection like her make up her hair and the type of clothes she wears as well. She is confused with her love life because she thinks she is with the one, and before she met Edward she would never even consider going out with him, but when she starts to see him for himself and not his looks Kim develops feeling’s for Edward and starts to see the type of person her boyfriend is and she doesn’t like it. Peg is played by Dianne West. Peg looks like your typical mum, ladylike dresses, sensible hair and glasses. It was Peg who brought Edward back from the castle and tries to cover all the scars on his face where he has cut himself, and she basically looks after him and cares for him as if he were her own son. She introduces Edward into the community and helps him to get along and meet new people. Peg is a very friendly person, who just wants to help people I think is to trustworthy in people and comes off as quite insecure.
Alex Welham 11T
Mise-en-scene is a French term which means ‘everything within the frame’. This covers: Setting, Props, Lighting and Colour, Costume and Make up, Expressions and Body Language, Positioning of Characters and Objects within the frame and Music. In Edward Scissorhands there are different settings such as: Houses and the different rooms, The Bank, The Hairdressers, The Castle and anywhere the characters go. Props are anything the characters pick up such as glasses, chi kabob, clothes and telephone things like that. Lighting, colour, costume and make up are all used to present the feeling of the characters for example when we see Kim putting up tree decorations she resembles an angle and Tim Burton has done this by dressing her in all white, and using the back light shinning on her giving her the affect of an angle. We see another example of this when Edward gets really angry, he storms out of the house and takes off his white shirt and his trousers to reveal his black leather suite underneath which resembles his feelings and his mood. The expression on his face and his body language helps to emphasize his mood his face is screwed up in a angry way and he is swinging his arms every franticly cutting everything he can. Expressions and body language are very important to show how a character is feeling. An example of using body language being used to show how a character is feeling is when one of the women tried to seduce Edward in the hairdressers. Positioning of characters and objects within the frame is really important because the setting needs to look realistic and to be believable, so having objects in the right position is a really hard task and Tim Burton has done it very well because you would not guess it was a set if you walked into the home. You need to get the right objects in the right room because there is no point in having a toilette in the kitchen or a freezer in the living room. Music is probably the most important thing in a movie because it affects the whole mood of a particular moment or scene. You see this when Kim is resembled as an angle the music turns almost fairytale it is slow very soft and without it would be impossible to feel the real impact of this scene.
To conclude in this essay I have looked at the different genre’s Tim Burton uses and how he uses them. I have compared it to another one of his films, and looked at it in detail mise-en-scene. In conclusion, I feel that Tim Burton creates a suburban fantasy by mixing lots of different genre’s together like: Fantasy, Horror, Romance and Comedy. He borrows ideas from his other films like Beetlejuice. Tim Burton exaggerates things and uses stereotypes to put his point across.
Alex Welham 11T