Tim Burton kicked off an entire decade of great art when in 1990, Edward Scissorhands premiered. And that film, my friends, is the honest book club of this week. Starring Winona Ryder and Johnny Depp in the titular role. (Oh boy do I love the term ‘titular’.) This film features Vincent Price’s last performance on the silver screen. TRIVIA TIME! These on-screen lovers were lovers in real life at the time as well. Funny enough, the idea for Edward Scissorhands came from a drawing Burton drew when he was a kid. And finally, the name ‘Edward’ was based on the screenwriter’s (Caroline Thompson’s) dog.
Any film directed by Tim Burton is going to come with its expectations. As movie-lovers, we sit ourselves down and expect a Tim Burton movie to take on a certain aesthetic with a very muted color palette. And do not get me wrong, there are scenes where this monochromatic color palette comes into play. But what’s brilliant about Edward Scissorhands is how those scenes are juxtaposed with the rest of the film. The setting primarily takes place in bright colorful suburbia. What Tim Burton somehow managed to pull off was being able to make us dread the imagery we associate most with happiness and yearn for the comfort of the cold dark castle on the hill. Juxtaposition plays an even greater role when it comes to showing the individual qualities that the seemingly-generic housewives all have.
The film really takes place in its own world. Because of that and many other great technical aspects of the movie, Edward Scissorhands has aged phenomenally well. You could tell me this film came out within the last ten years or that it came out in the 70s or both. And I would indeed believe both. Timelessness is very hard to master in a film and Burton absolutely nailed it!
This film plays a role as well in educating the aspiring filmmaker. You see, Tim Burton had originally planned for the film to be a musical. According to Burton "it seemed big and operatic to me". Obviously the idea was not carried through to fruition. Edward Scissorhands, though not a musical, is still a big and operatic movie which remains culturally significant to this day. I treat this as a lesson that artistic visions can change. And sometimes less really is more. There is a lesson within this movie too of how to blend the amalgamation of your own life experiences with ideas unique to you.