Again, another long drought in posts. But don’t worry, I refuse to let this die. Here goes:
I was excited to open my spring break by watching “Edward Scissorhands“, a film that has always intrigued me even though I knew very little about it.
I mean, just look at the poster. Who wouldn’t wonder what some creepy pale guy with wild hair and scissors for hands is all about? I understand it left quite a mark on the film scene, and it stands out among Tim Burton films as one of his masterpieces. No doubt many great film analysts have waxed eloquent on the nature of the isolated Edward character (Johnny Depp) or Burton’s brilliant ability to walk a fine line of crazed creativity. But even above these, something else about the film drew me in and rankled my heart with a righteous indignation. The inciting incident comes when Edward leaves the castle where he was created to go to the suburbs.
And the cast of suburbanites that Edward falls in with in his new life, well, I despise them.
(SPOILER ALERT: I’m not filtering my writing for spoilers at all, so I may say some things that give away the plot. You have been warned.)
Apparently Burton did not intend for his portrayal of suburban American to be so harsh. He said he wanted to depict suburbia as “not a bad place. It’s a weird place. I tried to walk the fine line of making it funny and strange without it being judgmental. It’s a place where there’s a lot of integrity.”
I do not want to condemn suburban America either, because it isn’t a bad place, per se. I grew up in a decent suburban neighborhood in Bakersfield, California–same home for 21 years and counting. My upbringing was about as stable as they come, and I’m very thankful for it.
That said, Burton may not have wanted to be judgmental, but “Edward Scissorhands” judges the suburbs, and it judges them pretty accurately. As someone who has spent most of the past four years in Santa Clarita, the city that Burton allegedly patterned the suburbs after, I saw a world in Edward Scissorhands eerily reminiscent of my own. Continue reading →