Jun 15, 2012
(Jan Svankmajer, Czechoslovakia, 1989, 35mm, 86 min)
The first of Jan Svankmajer’s feature films, Alice, surprised viewers with the surrealist storytelling that would become the trademark of Svankmajer’s films. His ability to cook up scenes both gothic and funny, bringing food and other objects to life with stop-motion animation, is the perfect medium for documenting a child’s adventures in Wonderland. In his adaptation—faithful in plot to Lewis Carroll’s original tale—the little girl emerges from the rabbit hole as a doll, and discovers a world whose landscape, bound as it is by tables, pincushions, and eggshells, always seems to change but never for certain. Transformations and illusions turn Alice’s house into a wonderland. The ordinary magic of Svankmajer’s production won Alice the Feature Film Award at the 1989 Annecy International Animated Film Festival, and to this day makes it a must-see for any fan of the story or of the surreal.
Our Jan Svankmajer series is sponsored by the Center for Czech Education and Culture.