Before Willy Wonka started churning out chocolate bars and Victor Van Dort inadvertently married a dead girl, Johnny Depp brought another of director Tim Burton's adolescent fantasy figures to weird life. In 1990, Depp became Edward Scissorhands, a dangerously equipped dreamer who used his artistic dexterity on hairdos and hedges in a neighborhood of quiet streets and pastel houses. All the Burton trademarks are on display in Edward -- relentless artifice, visual dazzle and the kind of emotional distance that reminds us always that we are watching a movie, not real life. Depp has long since become Burton's alter-ego, but fifteen years ago the idea was as fresh as this slyly macabre fairy tale. It co-stars Vincent Price (who abandons the well-honed hero) and Winona Ryder (who gives him a hand).
Edward Scissorhands screens Saturday, December 17, in the Midnight Madness at the Esquire series. Landmark's Esquire Theater is at 590 Downing Street. For information, call 303-352-1992.