Burton Example

Influences (gothic horror – human condition)
Motif (Framing – creates deliberate shots wherein both “worlds” are depicted
Tim Burton’s marriage of terror and romance provides his audiences with a myriad of creative and
complex motifs. His depiction of two “worlds” in a single frame and his obsession with “the outcast” are
two of the most prominent motifs in his body of work. Burton illustrates a gothic exploration of
societies’ inability to handle differences. For example, in one of his hallmark films, Edward Scissorhands,
Burton brilliantly contrasts Edward’s mansion in Peg’s side mirror with the color and perfection of the
suburban town behind it. This image portrays two worlds – two worlds that are about to collide – and
that will leave casualties on both sides. The fact that the mansion is shown in a mirror rings of Burton’s
german expressionism influences – his commentary on society’s fearful curiosity and inevitable
banishment of difference. He forces his characters into new worlds wherein they are met with conflict
and disillusioned acceptance. In addition, he frames Edward and Kim together in a mixture of horror and
romance – two worlds holding one another, bound by a mutual acceptance. Unfortunately, the audience
knows that their union will be violently rejected and Burton forces his characters (especially his outcast)
to feel the pain of total rejection.