Tim Burton’s 1990 film, ‘Edward Scissorhands’ explores the notions of identity, embracing one’s uniqueness, social acceptance within their environment and relationships between characters. The film is based on an invented man named Edward who was left unfinished and isolated. Many techniques are used in all movies to subconsciously convey a message to us without directly telling it to us. They are able to achieve this by using a range of visual techniques such as lighting, camera angels, costuming and dialogue.
Costume: Contrast between black costume of Edward and bright costumes of the citizens in the town
Lighting: Contrast between Edward's dark castle and the ...view middle of the document...
To belong, we need each other.
Tim Burton, the director sent an obvious message through the affective use of lighting, costuming as well as dialogue and the general way in which the characters speak. The film, is a great example of a message being conveyed through visual techniques. In the opening scenes Burton uses a wide angle camera shot on the town to show the town as well as the castle. Immediately you can tell that the castle looks boring, rundown and just generally looks like it doesn’t belong in the town. Add this with the fact that its located on a hill overlooking the town and it is not an inviting place to visit compared to the rest of the town which is full of bright greens and yellows to make everything look happy and cheerful which is very inviting.
Costuming is often the biggest part of a movie because just by looking at the way someone is dressed, you can tell what type of person they are and what role they play in the movie. In the film Edward comes across as a very dark and quiet person because of the way he dresses as well as the amount of lighting that is used on him. When you compare Edwards darkness to Peg’s lightness, you can tell straight away that Peg is what people in that town would consider normal, where as Edward is considered an outsider due to his physical difference. This causes a lack of belonging.
The first scene in Burtons movie is by far the most important one to convey the message about belonging. Along with the other techniques previously stated, camera angles also play a very important part in the way in which we see something and interpret it. When we first see Edward in the corner, the high camera angle used makes it look like that Edward is small, insignificant and vulnerable. When you combine Costuming, lighting, and camera angles together, you can see that you get a very easy to understand message about Edward not belonging and you get the immediate impression that Edward has probably been secluded for a very long time. When you compare this to the real society that we all live in, you can see the relationship between this movie and society is quiet strong. It makes you think about all of the disabled or challenged people and what they have to face everyday.
Acceptance and understanding
Edward Scissorhands, experiences a sense of alienation from the neighbouring community through the aspects of a lack of acceptance and a lack of understanding. Burton employs a wide shot to illustrate the geographical separation of Edward’s house from the rest of the township. In this shot, the mise-en-scene, specifically setting, of Edward’s house is juxtaposed, by way of contrast, with the rest of the town. While Edward’s house is invested with dark lighting effects, a grey and black colour palette, and a gloomy, gothic atmosphere, the township is depicted using a light, pastel colour scheme and bright lighting effects to create a sense of happiness, familiarity and peacefulness. These physical...