Tuesday, December 20, 2011


On the twenty-sixth Lynchian day of Christmas we present Tim Burton's fantastically weird yet emotionally stirring fairy tale set during Christmas in 1960's American suburbia Edward Scissorhands (1990). Tim Burton clearly shares David Lynch's proclivity for the bizarre in his films, and also revels in creating strange new symbolic cinematic worlds that push audiences past the edge of what mainstream movies normally deliver to them. And from Beetlejuice (1988) to Alice in Wonderland (2010), Tim Burton has excelled at creating dark cinematic fairy tales for the modern world.
The film begins with a grandmother (Winona Ryder) telling her granddaughter a story about the origin of the town's snowfall. The story takes place in an era of America that frequently catches the fancy of David Lynch, too—an era both wonderful and strange. A creature named Edward with scissors for hands lurks in solitude in a mansion overlooking the idyllic pastel neighborhood where one day the local Avon Lady (Dianne Wiest) decides to make a call. Discovering a gentle soul trapped in Edward, she shows compassion on him and brings him home in spite of his razor sharp claws. Edward is at first greeted with pity, but he soon demonstrates his usefulness and is welcomed enthusiastically into the community.
But over a brief time, Edward is transformed into a scapegoat by some unsavory townspeople, who use Edward's naivety as way of covering their own sins. Things are further complicated for this outsider when he falls in love with the town's angelic-faced beauty, who eventually reciprocates his feelings. Jealousies are stirred and unjustified persecution begins.
Based on a drawing he made as a teenager, Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands seems to be his most personally relevant film. Scissorhands really stand in for anything that makes someone an object of derision for others, but which if looked at the right way makes them exceptional and a great service to others. Along with Big Fish (2003), Edward Scissorhands epitomizes Buton's worldview of allegorical fantasy storytelling and remains Burton's personal favorite of all his films. And Tim Burton was so pleased with Johnny Depp that he would go on to make another seven pictures with the star, including his film scheduled or release next year Dark Shadows (2012).

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