Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Mise en Scene FIlm Review: Edward Scissorhands

Edward Scissorhands (1990) was written and directed by Tim Burton and is based on the thoughts of disfigurement and creativity with ties into Burtons fascination with Frankenstein.

One of the more noticeable aspects of Edward Scissorhands is the set design and the unique ways in which two contradicting worlds come together so well 'The apparently gloomy castle is in fact a shelter from the seemingly happy outside world, which is in fact, much darker and sinister underneath its bright colours.' (Esteryn, 2012) As Esteryn points out, the beginning of the film shows Edward in his 'birth' house which is essentially like your typical creepy house on a hill; over-grown, unloved, lack of colour and a lack of life stand out from the house. This odd house on a hill is placed at the end of a typical 60's American suburbia where everything is symmetrical and perfectly pastel. However, once the story unfolds, the audience realises that it's not the creepy house on the hill that they should be scared or afraid of, it's the 'normality' in which the Suburban housewives live in. 

Figure 1
Figure 1 is a hot from early on in the film and shows the design differences between the two worlds that Edward lives in. 'The movie takes place in an entirely artificial world, where a haunting Gothic castle crouches on a mountaintop high above a storybook suburb, a goofy sitcom neighbourhood where all of the houses are shades of pastels and all of the inhabitants seem to be emotional clones of the Jetsons' (Ebert, 2003) Roger Ebert points out that the suburban neighbourhood is viewed upon as a goofy sitcom and very unrealistic, which ties in with Burtons visual style throughout the film, each aspect of Edward Scissorhands is somewhat an exaggerated truth of the real world but not unbelievably so. 

Edwards house, the haunting Gothic castle, used its size to help create the feeling that Edward was monstrous and an abnormality from the pastel life of the suburb. The sizing of the castle in relation to Edward made him almost look like a small creature lost in the huge space of the house that was warning people off with its structure and appearance. 
Figure 2 shows one of the characters inside the castle, it demonstrates the way in which the set almost engulfs the character by its size and makes them seem small and exposed in the empty spaces.
Figure 2
Edward Scissorhands came from a simple sketch and personal influences from Tim Burton were brought in to create a truly interesting and moving film, this personal effort, perhaps the cinema’s most enchanting parable about the misunderstood and alienated artist.' (Larsen, 2012) There are many different interpretations running through this film, but the most noticeable one is the idea of alienated artists and the ridicule for not being the stereotype of 'normal' which is uncovered in the film to represent something horrible and untrusting when something of 'unique' stature appears in their world.

Figure 3
'Edward connected with audiences who could relate to his loneliness and desire to be accepted into a larger community, but who was ultimately cast off because of his freakish, confrontational otherness. Burton's sketch beautifully captures the beauty and emotion of Edward's weirdness.' (Ciampaglia, 2009) Ciampaglia's quote depicts the characteristics and the personality portrayed in the sketch and the way in which Johnny Depp then portrays the character in the film. 

Figure 1 - http://www.alicia-logic.com/capsimages01/esc_014Neighborhood.jpg 
Figure 2 - http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/M/MV5BMTUxMjA1NDgyM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNjA0NzY3._V1._SX475_SY311_.jpg
Figure 3 - http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ktacx0WLaX1qa214go1_400.jpg

Alias Esteryn. In: http://coco.raceme.org [online] At: http://coco.raceme.org/films/edwardscissorhands/review.php (Accessed on: 13/11/12)

Roger Ebert. In: http://rogerebert.suntimes.com [online] At: http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19901214/REVIEWS/12140301 (Accessed on: 13/11/12) 

Larsen. In: http://www.larsenonfilm.com  [online] At: http://www.larsenonfilm.com/index.php?Search=Edward%20Scissorhands%20Winston&AllWords=on (Accessed on: 13/11/12)

Dante Ciampaglia. In: http://www.forbes.com [online] At: http://www.forbes.com/2009/11/24/tim-burton-drawings-moma-opinions-art-review-dante-a-ciampaglia_slide_6.html (Accessed on: 13/11/12)

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