Švankmajer’s ALICE is about the closest you’ll find to an extended dream on film, because of the way it plays with juxtapositions – a real life girl next to stop motion creatures, different scales, different layered realities that stack like a Russian Doll. You never know where the dream begins or ends (which you wouldn’t if you were in one).” — The Quietus
No Future invites you to the follow the White Rabbit this new year with Czech surrealist animator and filmmaker Jan Švankmajer’s striking ALICE (1988), perhaps the definitive adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s children’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Unlike Disney’s moralistic and prettified fairy tale crack at the famously nonsensical text and Tim Burton’s overcooked CG fantasy, which reimagines the heroine as a colonialist foot soldier, Švankmajer emphasizes Carroll’s dream logic and indelible imagery.
A visually sumptuous and tactile mix of stop-motion animation and live action, starring Kristýna Kohoutová as the titular character (and Camilla Power as her voice, reading out other character’s dialogue from the book in disconcerting closeups of Alice’s mouth), ALICE richly reimagines the heaps of junk, sawdust, string, and discarded socks around Alice’s mundane world as the wondrous, frightening stuff of a child’s wonderland.
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