Sunday Cinema: Jan Svankmajer's Alice



I had a gruesome realization the other day: I have kept my various obsessions outside of Fashion totally hidden from my blog, and I really couldn't tell you why exactly. Perhaps it's been out of fear that I would end up writing hefty posts into the night, rendering myself into an sleepless, obsessive stupor. Maybe it's because I haven't known where to begin, or maybe, just maybe, I've just been too afraid that nobody would care. Well, at this point, I'd rather be writing about shit I actually care about rather than just walking in front of a camera all the time wearing stuff. So, I'm thinking from now on, I'll be showing you guys some of my favorite foreign, classic and independent films with a side of info every Sunday, because there is almost nothing I love more than watching and talking about films and my favorite filmmakers.

For my first installment, De Lune Presents: Alice

Jan Svankmajer is hands-down my favorite animator and short film director. To give a sense of his style, all I might have to tell you is that he is from Prague, because man, does he embody the dark, mysterious beauty of that city like nothing else. Like Franz Kafka, another Czech genius to come out of Prague, Svankmajer uses his craft to produce cerebral moments of dark humor with playful execution and, at times, troubling imagery of bodily assemblage. He uses toys, puppets, clay and other bits of ephemera to create totally surreal situations with absolutely insane precision. His stuff is aggressive, but all the while, he maintains a child's perspective, which is important when understanding his totally twisted sense of humor. Although Svankmajer presents his audiences with these totally cerebral and kind of disturbing images, it's all in an effort to marry our insecurities with a sense of curiosity and fantasy.

For  some "appetizer" films, check out his shorts Jabberwocky, Punch and Judy and Dimensions of Dialogue. All of these use stop-motion animation to explore some really weird situations with effortless humor and this sort of weird pseudo-Edwardian dark imagery. Gotta love it.

Now, Alice, also known as Něco z Alenky, or "Something From Alice" is loosely based on Alice in Wonderland in that the storyline follows Alice through her discovery and relationships with the characters she meets within her dreamworld, but everything is slightly askew in that this feels infinitely more Edwardian in its weirdness than any other incarnation of Alice in Wonderland that you're ever likely to see. This movie isn't the "cute" Disney or Hallmark version you saw at home, rather it's the darker version of Carroll's story that needs to exist in order to really get a full understanding of how truly insane the imagination can be. 

So, without further ado,

Enjoy, guys, lemme know what you thought.

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  1. Thank you for sharing !
    It's kinda psychedelic, and I love how the pictures of the movie reflect something so artistic and bizarre. I love Alice in Wonderland, so I have to watch this !

    Couleur Spleen.

  2. Nice to read about our (Czech) authors on your blog. I personaly don't like Švankmajer that much, but I respect him. It is probably too depressive movies for me. It is also hard for me to think about Prague like some magic dark place, just because I was born there, but I can understand how someone can. There are more attractive cities for me, like NY for example, by the way I met you there on the street once.)

  3. Hello Claire. Another hello from Czech Republic. There´s srong possibility, that you´re gonna get some more. I think Svankmajer´s work is exceptional. Try to find his more recent movie Lunacy. It blew my mind, when I saw it years ago. Also: I´ve followed your blog for a while and I want to tell you that I really like your style and taste. It´very very close to what I like. Thanks for inspiration.

  4. thank you so much for sharing!! love this!



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