Sunday, March 7, 2010


Three down and one to go in the Alice In Wonderland film marathon series.

The BBC released their film in 1966, it could probably be called the Ingmar Bergman/Luis Bunuel version of Alice in Wonderland.  It's filmed in black and white and has a more intense tone to it. 

The director Jonathan Miller, took a low TV budget and really made it work for the story this time.  His Alice film uses only incidents from the first book and does not incorporate any characters or scenes from the second book, Through the Looking Glass

Part of the brilliance of this version is the simplicity of this concept.   There are no actors in animal masks, no bizarre sets and the optical effects are mostly achieved in the camera.  This approach allows the audience to enjoy the weirdness of each scene without the distraction of bizarre makeup effects.   The actors can actually act this time without having to express themselves through a mound of makeup or exaggerated masks.

This Alice is portrayed as a disturbed child having hallucinations and hearing voices in her head.   She's very sullen and not very likable,  possibly a distant relation to Rhoda Penmark.  

A further sign of the smartness of this film is the elimination of the tiresome Tweedledum and Tweedledee,  the most annoying superfluous characters in the story.  Miller must have read the book and realized they weren't even in it.  This is almost reason alone to watch this version. 

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