Cinema Simply Different

We all know the story. Young Alice follows a white rabbit and ends up at a place where you spend your time drinking tea with a crazy hatter and the Queen derives pleasure from making heads roll. But only few know about its less fairy tale-like version that is clearly on the surreal side of things by Jan Švankmajer. Stop Motion editing and extreme close-ups of Alice’s mouth are used to subvert the story and elevate Alice to the narrator of her own journey. She even becomes the voice of all inhabitants of that curious place. It is through the sound design that Wonderland is conjured up on screen.

The director forgoes using any score so that the eerily raw sound effects take center-stage. Also, the white rabbit is not a cute and fluffy one here. Rather, he is creepily taxidermied and nailed to a vitrine. His escape is underlined by a palpably claustrophobic audio cue, which turns Švankmajer’s version into a uniquely sinister and disturbing experience. Daydreaming has never been creepier…

Alicia Schümperli

Translation: Carlos Hartmann

Other films in this program