Jan Svankmajer, Alice, 1988
Every single line of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland is a decisive stitch in an intricate, philosophically profound, and mathematically precise fabric that most adaptations dismiss in favor of the quirky fairytale that surfaces the story’s undercurrents. As «fun» as Disney’s or Tim Burton’s interpretations are, they merely scrape at the surface of the paradoxes of sense that Carroll intended to expound.
If Alice in Wonderland is a reversed world that changes invariably, where meanings are being constantly destabilized, and where chaos is ever-present, Jan Svankmajer’s Alice is a strikingly original attempt to wound the skin of the story and to reveal its body by almost entirely stripping it of Carroll’s language and converting it into an eerie and unsettling dreamscape. Svankmajer’s Wonderland is as difficult to describe as Carroll’s, like any other space of subconscious, for it is not a place that is mapped geographically, but rather topologically, being just as incoherent as the plot itself.
- “A Kafkaesque Adventure for Alice in Wonderland”, Karolina R. Swasey