Tuesday, June 15, 2010

#161 Neco Z Alenky [Alice] (1988)


Director: Jan Svankmajer

Cast: Kristyna Kohoutova

Czech-filmmaker, animator, and puppeteer, Jan Svankmajer, creates one of the most bizarre and hyper-imaginative adaptations of Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland perhaps ever made. The film is a gothic and dark examination of the story, and through the use of only one actress (Kohoutova) and loads of handmade puppets, he examines dark themes such as the danger of routine, overeating, and materialism.

The imagery and characters are more creepy than charming, constructed from household objects that seem to be glazed in rot and formaldehyde, it is definitely not a children's movie. The animation and editing are in themselves a disturbing and choppy production--their movements in addition to the jarring, sharp sound effects make this film seem absolutely twisted.

For anyone who is interested in stop motion, animation, puppets, gothic stories, fairy tales, and/or experimental film-making... this is a must-see. There were too many strange and jolting things about this film to be anything but spectacular. Definitely disturbing though. I was impressed.

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