Edward Scissorhands Tim Burton Auteur

Edward Scissorhands
Tim Burton
Basic Facts
This film is an tribute to teenage angst !
It moves across genres by merging
horror, romance and drama.
An interesting fact is that the main
protagonist in the film Edward only
speaks 169 words in the whole film. His
character is defined through his eyes,
facial gestures and awkward body
How does this define Burton as an
Auteur ?
The first aspect in how this film reflects
Burton as an Auteur is through his use of
themes and ideas. In many of his films,
the main character is seen as an outsider
who is embraced for his unique nature.
Edward has the distinct absence of
parental figures, but becomes accepted by
Peggy who sees beyond his strange
costuming and make-up to see his ability
to be creative and artistic.
Individuality and Conformity
The film Edward Scissorhands has a theme of individuality
and conformity. Obviously the character of Edward is one of
an unique individual who has an amazing creative gift.
Despite his weird and quirky appearance we are guided
through to seeing the true beauty and look beyond physical
appearance for beauty.
This is in contrast with the community that Edward moves
in to. The ‘Suburbian’ ideal shows that people have to
conform in order to be part of the status quo. That is why
the costuming of the people is similar and also similar in
colouring. This shows that to Belong here means looking
and thinking in the same way. The character of Edward
challenges this idea and opens their minds to new ways of
Beauty and Love
The theme of Beauty and Love is explored through Edward and
Kim in the film. Edward is costumed in unusual attire, and has
large scissors for hands. He also has black and white make up on
his face. These techniques are used to highlight his differences,
especially when contrasted with the other characters in the movie.
His true inner beauty is shown through his artistic abilities that
inspire others to think in new ways.
The main female protagonist Kim is shown to be physically
beautiful but she is in a relationship that is created through her
desire to fit in with her peers. She is able to learn about the nature
of true love and beauty through her relationship with Edward.
Families in Tim Burton films tend to operate in a
dysfunctional manner. In Edward’s family there is an
absence of a mother figure, and his father has created him
and raised him like a science experiment. This unusual
upbringing has resulted in Edward being withdrawn and
shy, as well as having an innocence about the world around
him. This is juxtaposed against Peggy’s family which is
shown to be a typical suburbian family. The unconditional
love Peggy has for those around her, which she extends to
Edward, allows characters in the film to be nutured and to
grow in their identity.
The Setting
The setting is one way that Tim Burton is
able to reflect his style as an Auteur. He
has two main settings for Edward
Scissorhands. The first is the spooky,
dark and almost Gothic house in which
Edward lives on his own. The dark
colours help is emphasise his loneliness
and isolation, especially when juxtaposed
through the long shot taken of the street
in which he lives.
We see in this long shot the vibrant
and colourful houses in the
background. This helps to add to the
idea that at the start of the film
Edward isn’t someone who belongs
to the society around him.
Cast and crew spent twelve weeks filming in
Florida, where they found an occupied
community to film in, Carpenter's Run
subdivision in Lutz, Florida. They painted all
the houses in faded pastels, and reducing
the window sizes to make it look a little
more paranoid.
 Sixty different houses were to be repainted
for Tim Burton's vision of suburbia, all of
them occupied, and only changed for the
garish exterior paint.
Tim Burton uses eerie Music to add to
the quirky nature of his films. The use of
Music in Edward Scissorhands help to
develop a perception of Edward as being
different from others around him. It
helps to build a spiral that draws the
viewer in and helps to further develop
our empathy for Edward as a character.
The Setting in which Edward lives is dark and gloomy
in its use of colour. Also, the character of Edward
when he comes from this environment to Peggy’s home
is dressed in black leather costuming, and his make-up
uses black and white colours. This helps to highlight
Edward’s differences from others, and also alludes to
Gothic imagery.
The rest of the characters and the setting in other
scenes is bright and colourful, and reflects a 1950s and
1960s feel. Though set later, it pays homage to colours
used in films and fashion of that time.
Use of color such as the repetition of all the
houses' yards as greenish color and houses
being in one color encourage viewer with the
conformity of the town.
Furthermore, the bright color of suburbia and
dark and doomed image of Gothic castle
present how awkward the individual can be
seen in such town.
Camera Angles and Shots
‘Long Shots’
In this film, there are many long shots of the setting to
emphasise the differences between Edward’s world and
the world of everyone else.
The Long shot from Edward’s gothic castle helps to
emphasise his loneliness and isolation from the world
below him.
As the camera pans down to suburbia we see that this
is an environment where everyone belongs together by
being the same. Individuality seems lost in this part of
the world.
‘Close ups’
There are many close ups of both Kim and Edward
throughout this film. The effect of close-ups in film to
focus the viewer’s eye onto the character and this
camera shot helps to connect us to the emotions that
are felt within.
Edward- there are many close-ups throughout the film
that help to show his growth from being isolated and
alone, to his feeling in awe of the new world outside of
the castle to finally feeling angry and rejected. This
helps us to understand that Edward is different but
also that he feels things deeply.
‘Close Ups’
The effect of using Close-ups of Kim as the film
progresses is to show her growing understanding of
Edward, and her eventual love and affection for this
man. Edward teaches her to be an individual, as well as
allowing her to look beyond the superficial levels to
people to see the real beauty that is within people.
Edward is not physically beautiful but we see that he
inspires others through his artistic works.
Camera Shots and Angles ?
List down 5 other examples of how Tim Burton uses
camera angles to create meaning in Edward
Scissorhands ?????
Costuming & Make Up
Edward’s costuming and make-up are
black, white and made of leather and
constructed material. This helps to
represent him in a quirky and unusual
way. This is juxtaposed through the
costuming and make-up of the people in
the suburbs. They wear similar colours,
clothing and make-up to show their
connection with others as well as reflect
their lack of individuality.
Evaluate 3 Features of this film
that define Tim Burton as an
Auteur ?
Using GPS, write one parargraph
each on how Edward Scissorhands
reflects this director’s style(or
Auteur) ?
Essay Activity
How does the film Edward
Scissorhands use techniques to
define him as an Auteur ? How
does this film use themes that also
define him as an Auteur ?