Thursday, 13 November 2014

Space Oddities Fim Review - Edward Scissor Hands

Edward Scissorhands

Edward Scissorhands is a 1990 movie directed by Tim Burton and features Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands. The film's set has a deep clash between american sub-urban living and a complete fantasy setting, while the all-american family resides in a 1950s/1960. 

A reviewer from Time Out magazine (named CM) states; "With its skewed vision of suburbia" (CM, N/A), this reviewer could be talking about how the supposedly "perfect" lives of those living in the colourful houses beneath the castle are in fact facades of more ulterior aspects of life. For instance the routines and custom of the people are monotonous and the supposedly "friendly" neighbours constantly talk behind each others backs spreading lies and rumours. 

Rita Kempley of the Washington Post says "There on the edge of civilization, if suburbia can be so called" (Kempley, 1990), this could possibly be satirical of the idea of civilization, particularly suburban civilization. It could further expand on the idea that the model town is in fact corrupt and is on the surface happy but underneath is devoid of the morals and integrity that an "ideal" family should posses. 

Despite this the town is not entirerly corrupt as a kindly family take Edward in and despite the rumours and discrimination that eventually permeate from the neighbours they remain loyal and caring to Edward. In retrospect the outsider and stranger Edward was kind and gentle and although he was driven out by the townspeople he nevertheless does not sacrifice his integrity or morals in the face of such hostility.

Figure 1

In Figure 1 we can see the strange fantasy castle backdropped against the "ideal" american sub-urban housing.

Another notable aspect of the production is the laboratory or workshop of the inventor, far from the scientific looking apparatus of a modern scientific premesis it is a fantasy environment with strange machines with humanoid robotic components and odd looking devices abnormally large cogs.

Figure 2
Figure 2 shows the laboratory, this is clearly a fantasy environment but is fitting for the creation of a being such as Edward.

This strange environment could be symbolic of creation and how new things are often created in unorthodox ways or ways that break the mould, this symbolism could further expanded as the orthodox conservative town where behaviour and customs are the same clashes with the strange and different castle where things are made in barbaric ways.

The use of colours are also prevealent throughout the film, particularly to contrast between the suburban town and the castle.

Figure 3
The beautiful garden contrasts with the otherwise cold, eerie, grey castle.

Janet Maslin of the New York Times states; "This time, with production design by Bo Welch ("Beetlejuice") and cinematography by Stefan Czapsky, it involves bright colors in unlikely combinations, for instance, a lavender-suited Avon lady driving a dandelion-yellow car)" (Maslin, 1990), this statement is interesting as it could suggest multiple points. Why would the cars be a different (almost contrasting) colour to the owners houses? It seems out of place in a neighbourhood of such conformity. Alternatively the colours are all quite bland yet strong at the same time and aren't black or dull like the castle.

Another interesting note are the gardens; the only thing present in them are the lawns and hedges, both green, no other traces of colour; no life nor anything interesting, everything is uniform and complex, this could be another metaphor for conformity. According to Burton the idea behind creating such a suburban setting was not to criticise American suburban lifestyles but rather to highlight the integrity that exists in such an environment.

Figure 4
Figure 4 shows the bleached colours of the houses, everything is one colour or another, the cars are one colour and the houses spare not detail (even the garage doors are the same colour).

CM, N/A, edward-scissorhands [ONLINE], Available at: [Accessed on 5th November 2014]

Rita Kempley, 1990, edwardscissorhandspg13kempley_a0a0bf.htm [ONLINE], Available at: [Accessed on 5th November 2014]

Janet Maslin, N/A, /review?res=9C0CE2D81338F934A35751C1A966958260&partner=Rotten%2520Tomatoes [ONLINE], Available at: [Accessed 13th November 2014]

Illustration List
Figure 1
(N/A), 1990, e056eca4d0100a8b481ddf15096a4bca93f0c0.jpg [ONLINE], Available at: (Accessed 5th November 2014)

Figure 2
(N/A), 1990,  62795_0.jpg [ONLINE], Available at: (Accessed 12th November 2014)

Figure 3
(N/A), 1990, 3.-Edward-Scissorhands-Production-Designer-Bo-Welch.jpg [ONLINE], Available at: (Accessed 12th November 2014)

Figure 4
(N/A), 1990, edward-scissorhands-pastel-houses1.jpg [ONLINE], Available at: (Accessed 13th November 2014)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Max,

    Ok, you have had a good go at introducing the quotes, but make sure that the resultant sentence still makes sense; so for example, you say,
    'A reviewer from Time Out magazine (named CM) states; "With its skewed vision of suburbia" (CM, N/A),'

    where this might sound better -

    'A reviewer from Time Out magazine (named CM) describes the town as having a " ...skewed vision of suburbia" (CM, N/A),'

    Or here -

    'Rita Kempley of the Washington Post says "There on the edge of civilization, if suburbia can be so called" (Kempley, 1990)

    You could say,

    'Rita Kempley of the Washington Post says of the town, that it is "There on the edge of civilization, if suburbia can be so called" (Kempley, 1990)

    Make sure that the quotes are italicised (I can't do that here in the comments box :( , as well as any film titles you mention.
    In your bibliography, the list is ordered alphabetically, with the author's surname first, followed by initial, so Kempley, R. for example.

    Finally, for some reason you have centred the text this time - either align it to the left or justify it, as by centring it, it gives it the feeling of reading verse rather than prose :)