Tuesday, 6 December 2016

"Edward Scissorhands" review

   An interesting thing that stands out in Tim Burton's "Edward Scissorhands" is an atmosphere of, how Burton said himself "conservatism and conformism."(Matveeva,2013) A little suburbia filled with absolutely identical simple shaped houses, cars, even gardens, conservative families with the classic, traditional idea of a household, with dominant patriarchy and a housewife in the kitchen."Burton offers an accurate depiction of 1950s America"(Sarah Jay,2008) The following scene when all suburbia's dads all at the same time get in their identical cars to go to work show us the "ideal society" of that time.(see fig.1)
   People at all costs are trying to live "The America Dream", a better life, both materially and morally. They are becoming consumers and starting to buy things that in reality, they don't need. The audience can perfectly see it when Peg Boggs, makeup seller, is walking door-to-door trying to sell cosmetic and beauty products, things of man's last level of needs.(see fig.2)And in this "entirely normal" American town there is a place that totally stands out in a sign of typical suburbia/town landscape usual to an average American citizen.

Fig. 1. Fathers going to work(2016)

   Gothic mansion with statues, small turrets,columns etc. on the hill that overlooks the whole suburbia. It gives both the audience and the citizens feelings of anxiety, fear of terror. However the minute you walk in the garden of the mansion, all these negative feeling fade away. It is a paradisaical, beautiful garden with different bush sculptures decorating it.(see fig.3) After looking at the contrast between the mansion and this little green corner of paradise the viewer can understand what the only owner of the house is like. The name of the proprietor is Edward, a lonely man with scissors instead of hands, who will soon be used as a toy and after that thrown away by people of a great and mighty society.

Fig. 2. Peg Boggs in her Avon
(makeup company) outfit(2011)
   The image of  a big baby, who is ugly on the outside but beautiful on the inside is recreated very careful and precise. Nevertheless, in this society, he managed to feel such magical feelings as love to a girl, named Kim. From the first sight she seems like any other teenager of 1950s: rebel against parent lifestyle, be delinquent, etc. but after some time it is clear that she is a very fair and good person. Both Edward and Kim resembles characters of a very famous fairy tales we all know.

Fig. 3. Edward's mansion and garden(2011)

  Janet Maslin(1990) seems to be correct when she says ""Edward Scissorhands" ... is a tale of misunderstood gentleness and stifled creativity, of civilization's power to corrupt innocence, of a heedless beauty and a kindhearted beast."
   "Edward Scissorhands" is full of contrasts and comparisons: Edward and other citizens, Mansion and suburbia's houses etc. - all these contrasts gently emphasises the basic idea of the film.

1. Jay, S. (2008) How is the 1950s re-imagined through the lens of Tim Burton’s films?https://sarahjay.wordpress.com/, accessed on 6 December 2016.
2. Matveeva, V. (2013) Мрачный сказочник, или Все, что вы хотели узнать о Тиме Бертоне [In Russian] Gloomy fantasist, or Everything, you would like to know about Tim Burton. At: https://ria.ru/weekend_cinema/20130825/834381168.html (Accessed on 6 December 2016) Translated by Anastasija Strelcova
3. Maslin, J. (1990) Review/Film; And So Handy Around The Gardenhttp://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9C0CE2D81338F934A35751C1A966958260&partner=Rotten%2520Tomatoes, accessed on 6 December 2016.


1. Figure 1.(2016)[Film Still] http://kinogo.club/2651-edvard-ruki-nozhnicy-1990.html, accessed on 6 December 2016.
2. Figure 2.(2011)[Film Still] http://www.guiltyandglamorous.com/2011/07/missed-connection.html, accessed on 6 December 2016.
3. Figure 3.Suzannah Otis(2011)[Film Still] http://zannaland.com/edward-scissorhands-lived-in-my-backyard/, accessed on 6 December 2016.

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