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Edward Scissor Hands (70mm)

Although some of his recent work has been disappointing, especially the remake of Planet of the Apes, Tim Burton remains one of the most imaginative directors working within the Hollywood mainstream. Perhaps his most personal and beautiful film, Edward Scissorhands is a strange, pastel-shaded fairy tale set in suburban America and with echoes of the Brothers Grimm. It stars Johnny Depp as a modern variant of Frankenstein’s monster, a being created by mad scientist Vincent Price in a Gothic mansion high above a small town. When his creator dies, the gentle, pale-faced Edward is left with sharp metal shears instead of fingers. He lives alone in the empty house until the Avon Lady (the wonderful Dianne Wiest) calls. She invites him home, and he proceeds to dazzle her family and neighbours with his flair for topiary and surreal hair-styling. There is a tentative romance with the Avon Lady’s beautiful daughter (Winona Ryder), but Edward remains at the end an outsider who is rejected in a society of rampant conformity.
Drawing upon a wide range of influences, Burton creates an allegory that is both funny and moving. The themeothat just beyond the edge of the perfectly normal lies the truly bizarreois realised with intelligence and visual flair. Danny Elfman’s score, Bo Welch’s production design and Stefan Czapsky’s cinematography are all perfectly in tune with Burton’s unique vision.
U.S.A., 1990. Colour. 70mm print. Dolby stereo. 100 mins.

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