Blitz: Edward Scissorhands
I’ve seen the infamously hilarious water-bed scene in Edward Scissorhands in the 90’s, the rest of the film is just waiting. A decade later, the Box is showing Burton films. Yay!
Scissorhands. Willing suspension of disbelief. Opposites. Those two themes merging together. An old woman starts a fable about the origins of snow with Peg ‘Avon’ Boggs (Dianne Wiest), who gets turned away by all the housewives in her pastel painted 1950’s neighborhood. Remember when Burton films contained the vernacular? She turns to another house to for a prospective client, and I’m thinking, why would any real estate whatchamacallit build a suburban development at the foot of a haunted Gothic mansion? Not a hater here. I’m not sure how aware Burton and his team were of how implausible this is but Bo Welch’s set direction makes the juxtaposition of the old and the new jarring and noticeable.
Of course Burton makes sure that Peg’s just as weird as Edward (Johnny Depp), telling him that she can give him astringent for his scars. Now, we’re looking for Edward’s double, and Peg at this stage of the story is a decent candidate because she’s just as much of an outsider as he is, and inviting Edward home will highlight the tensions between her and the neighborhood. The rest of the film are comprised of either Edward being looked at or looking, but it’s more interesting is when both the observer and the subject are closer.
The rest of the film is the neighbors fawning over Edward and his talents that the audience knows and waits for him to do something and for the neighborhood to hate him, the characters thus bowing to the oldest story in the book. Instead of montage-y progression from love to hate, Burton lets Edward interact with the family and with the housewives, showing us humanity before and during hard times.
Let’s go back earlier where the camera moves through a miniature version of the neighborhood – I like it too, kids, don’t accuse me of snarking – at night, covered in snow to eventually show the mansion. Here the difference between the two areas are less striking. Edward has created something to remind himself and beloved Kim (Winona Ryder) that the two worlds can look the same, even if those two worlds, or the two of them, can’t be together.
Today is probably the last day to catch Edward Scissorhands at the Box at 4:15, 6:50 and 9:30.