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During our Seminar on Semiotics it was suggested that we watch the 1990 American film “Edward Scissorhands” its decribed as a romantic dark fantasy, it’s a cult film from well known Director Tim Burton, who has created films such as The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sweeney Todd and more recently Frankenweenie and Dark Shadows. I have been a fan of certain Tim Burton films for a while and was surprised to have never seen Edward Scissor hands!

Edward Scissorhands depicts the tragic life story of Edward, an artificial man created by a lonely elderly inventor for company, who was left resembling a young boy except for his hands, which were left as giant scissor interpretations of hands when the inventor died of a heart attack whilst presenting Edward with a pair of human looking hands, thus leaving him unfinished. The opening scenes of this film take place in a suburb which is the epitome of Kitsch American lifestyle in the 1950’s- 60’s and it takes an ironic satirical view on the lifestyle of suburban housewives who stand on the corner and gossip all day waiting for their husbands to come home from seemingly straight edge boring jobs, the pastel coloured identical houses are reminiscent of a children’s play set, i think this shows the lifestyle how Burton viewed it to be, Fake and only to be taken at surface value. It begins with a lady named Peg Boggs, who quickly becomes one of my favorite characters in this film because firstly her ethic as a woman who is working hard to build a career ( albeit as an avon lady, which i think makes a statement about how limited opportunities were for women in that era) when all of her fellow women in the street are content with idle gossip and preening. Secondly because of her attitude when she meets Edward for the first time, when she stumbles upon the ancient ruin manor he “lives” in she finds him in the attic with no roof, she doesn’t run screaming from his at first frightening appearance but takes the time to try and communicate with a man who has no experience with social conventions. I found when watching this film i identified with Edward to a degree, i think he represents not only Tim Burtons insecurity that “I get the feeling people just got this urge to want to leave me alone for some reason, I don’t know exactly why” but an insecurity that plagues almost everyone at some point in their lives, where they feel alone and socially segregated from the rest of the world, due to either a situation or social stigma surrounding them.

 

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