Quick recap: The classic story of Alice in Wonderland, if told by David Lynch and David Cronenberg. Probably not for children.
Fun (?) fact: Unlike traditional stop motion films, Alice did not use any miniature sets for its effects.
Thoughts and observations:
I had a nightmare after watching this movie and it’s really no wonder I’m not more traumatized considering:
- The white rabbit is full of sawdust and enjoys eating what leaks out of him
- The movie takes place in a run down house where even the leaves piled up inside are somehow menacing
- Whatever this is:
- Alice turning into a life-size porcelain doll which she has to escape from
I could easily come up with 10 more examples but I think you get the point. This version of Alice in Wonderland is no fairytale. Director Jan Svankmajer envisioned something along the lines of an ‘amoral dream’ and he certainly was successful. I tend to have very vivid dreams and watching Alice’s journey trigged something familiar inside of me. I don’t know what that says about my brain but I can completely relate to this version. I especially loved the end when Alice woke up and saw all the parts of her dream surrounding her: the playing cards, the tarts and the stones. And then in the final scene she looks over and sees that the taxidermied white rabbit did actually bust out of his cage. She grabs a pair of scissors and says ‘off with his head’. I LOVE that the Alice in this movie is not a sweet girl but instead mischievous and sometimes just outright violent. I found myself both rooting for her and also enjoying when she got her comeuppance.
Watchability score: 4/5, if you can handle it
Up next: Chimes at Midnight