Edward Scissorhands Tim Burton Auteur 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 gestures. 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. Themes 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 thinking. Themes 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. Themes Family 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. Music 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. Colour 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 ????? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 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 ?
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