A movie from 1999. Directed by Tim Burton. Written by Washington Irving(story The Legend of Sleepy Hallow) and Kevin Yagher. Players: Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Christopher Walken, Lisa Marie, and others.

Icabod Crane is sent to the small village of Sleepy Hollow to investigate a series of murders.

My Opinion:
Visually stunning! Tim Burton is the master of creating emotion through visual representaion. I was amazed by how incredable this movie looked from costumes to props to whole sets. The movie was fairly good, the writting could of used some work and the characters were fairly cheesy at times, but the visuals more than make up for it. Tim Burton is king.

I give it a 3.5 out of 4.0 mostly for the visuals.

The movie was total eye candy; I wouldn't expect any less from Tim Burton.

I was a big fan of the original Washington Irving story, which takes less time to read than this movie takes to watch.

What's interesting, though, is that Irving had a very dark sense of humor, and the short story is infused with several macabre references to death and decapitation. It would have been interesting to see Burton incorporate more of these into the flick; my companion and I found the movie very funny, usually uninentionally so. The few attempts at humor seemed very flat and out-of-place, and that's sad considering what might have been.

Interestingly enough, I went to high school with a girl name Katie Van Tassell, who somewhat resembled Katrina Van Tassell - Christina Ricci's character in the movie.
I seriously enjoyed this movie. I loved the real artistic nature of the setting of the place, and some of the lines in the movie are really good. To really enjoy the quotes it helps if you've seen the expression on Johnny Depp's face when he says a lot of them. He is a surprisingly witty actor and does well in this role as Ichabod Crane. Christina Ricci is ok in the movie, its not her best but she does alright. Ok well here they are. Enjoy!

ICHABOD CRANE - …their heads where found severed from their bodies?
REV.. STEENWYCK - Their heads were not found severed, their heads were not found at all.

ICHABOD - It was a Headless Horseman!
BALTUS - You must not excite yourself.
ICHABOD - But it was Headless Horseman!
BALTUS - Of course it was.
ICHABOD - No, you must believe me,
it was Horseman!
A dead one!
Headless!

KATRINA - Is there nothing you will take from Sleepy Hollow that was worth the coming here?
ICHABOD - No... not nothing. A kiss... and how rare a thing... a kiss from a lovely woman before she saw my face or knew my name.
KATRINA - Yes, without sense or reason...
It was a kiss on account.
ICHABOD - Oh -- God forgive me -- I talk of kisses and you have lost your brave man Brom --
KATRINA - I have shed my tears for Brom... and yet my heart is not broken. Do you think me wicked?
ICHABOD - No... but perhaps there is a little bit of the witch in you, Katrina.
KATRINA - Why do you say that?
ICHABOD - Because you have bewitched me.

ICHABOD - I am heartsick with it.
KATRINA - I think you have no heart -- and I had a mind once to give you mine.

BALTUS - There is conspiracy here! And I will seek it out!

LADY VAN TASSEL - The Horseman comes. And tonight he comes for you!

YOUNG MASBATH - Is he dead?
ICHABOD - He was dead to start with -- that's the problem.

Headless!

A postmodernist reading of Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow

If you haven't seen the movie, this will mean very little to you. Also, HERE BE SPOILERS!

If Washington Irving were to awake from a two-hundred-year sleep (brought on by enchanted ale, no doubt) sometime in late 1999 and wander down to his neighborhood cineplex's showing of Tim Burton's adaptation of his story, he would find an entirely new dynamic at work amidst his original Gothic ghoulies. This is the theme of the crisis of postmodernity.

The crucial adjustment Burton makes to "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is the transformation of dour schoolteacher Ichabod Crane into Constable Ichabod Crane, the modernist subject personified. More on him below; for now, however, it is necessary to mention that the film portrays the conflict between modernism and postmodernity specifically, not the Enlightenment struggle with Romanticism that the setting would seem to suggest. This is demonstrated by Crane's statement in the beginning of the film that "we are at the dawn of a new millennium"--a bizarre non sequitur if taken literally, since two hundred years is quite a sunrise. What Burton accomplishes with this line is a repositioning of the issues at work in the film to contemporary times--namely, to 1999, which is indeed the dawn of a new millennium.

That Crane is a modernist subject is evident even to a cursory glance. He professes and defends faith in Science and Reason; he rejects God. But the roots of his belief are analogous to those of modernism itself. He flees to rationality from the religious, severe, but wholly irrational monstrosity that was his father's way of life, and which ultimately led to the brutal killing of his mother. It is particularly interesting that she is not killed as one would expect an eighteenth-century witch to be--by being burned at the stake--but instead by a specifically medieval implement, the Iron Maiden. Crane's faith in reason also has a redemptive aspect--he is portrayed, for example, attempting to reform New York's criminal justice system.

If Ichabod Crane is the modernist subject, then the Headless Horseman is the specter of postmodernity. Paradoxically, the horseman, who is lacking a head, represents the postmodern "body with organs," while Crane, who is all head and whose frail body serves little purpose, represents the "body without organs" that is a central fantasy of modernism. The horseman lacks a center, a vital area which can be struck to destroy him; as Umberto Eco wrote in his essay "Striking at the Heart of the State," decentralization is a crucial aspect of the postmodern state. The aspect of the horseman that horrifies Crane most is not his perverse life and death, and not his eldritch eruption from a tree stuffed with human heads--it is precisely the fact that he is "headless," that is, lacking in reason and the capacity for understanding. When he first arrives in Sleepy Hollow, Crane denies the existence of the horseman, but when he sees him firsthand, he is forced to confront him. This parallels the attitude of modernism to postmodernity: today, modernist thought, represented by Jurgen Habermas, is engaged chiefly in formulating a response to the challenges of postmodernity and postmodernism.

The conspiracy that forms the bulk of the story is also a representation of the crisis. The horseman's first victims are the Van Garretts, whose seal is a windmill, and the story's denouement begins in a decaying windmill. This is a peculiar symbol: the windmill represents both the agrarian economy of the Middle Ages and the Dutch bourgeoisie that provided the first inklings of the Enlightenment (neatly portrayed, perhaps, by the Van Garretts--father and son). Postmodernity disposes of both of these. But the investigation as performed by Crane is also significant: he is convinced that the wealthy Baltus Van Tassel is behind the specter, a reflection of the late modernist charge that postmodernism and postmodernity are merely the tools and byproducts of capitalism. The film does not give a productive answer as to the nature and final motivations of the specter; perhaps Burton wants postmodernity to "find its head" and cease haunting Crane's rationalistic paradise.

Incidentally, not a node your homework production.

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