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ALICE

Director: JAN ŠVANKMAJER

SWITZERLAND-WEST GERMANY-U.K. • 1987. • ENGLISH DIALOGUE • COLOUR • 84 MIN


ŠVANKMAJER’S WONDERFUL ACCOUNT OF LEWIS CARROLL’S ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND HAS THE CURIOUS YOUNG HEROINE CHANGING SIZE, TURNING INTO HER OWN DOLL, AND TAKING A JOURNEY INTO A GROTESQUE, CRUEL DREAM WORLD.
Alice’s constant changes in size are portrayed as a transformation from human to doll—a puppet version of the real in which the eyes do not move and all movements are highly stylised. The principal puppet figures she encounters—the White Rabbit, the March Hare and the Mad Hatter—have the appearance of old toys. In Švankmajer’s version, the central narrative has been strengthened with the character of the White Rabbit placed in constant opposition to that of Alice. Angela Carter once described this tribute by one master of ‘invasive dreaming’ to another as ‘grotesque, funny, insidious, beautiful, a wonder itself.’

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