Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser


Filmed at the V&A, London in July 2021 | Running Time 80 mins

I’ve seldom been hit by so many ideas in such a short space of time. This left me with so many thoughts and things I wanted to follow-up. It’s not just that there are so many ideas in the original two books but also the ways in which Alice has been interpreted since. Andi Oliver and V&A Curator Kate Bailey give us a guided tour through this highly theatrical and pretty comprehensive exhibition. We’re shown how Alice inspired creativity n fashion, film, photography and on the stage. So many artists have been inspired to create works that adapt the books by Carroll (the psuedonym for the author Charles L. Dodgson) or allude significantly to their language, themes, or characters.

The exhibition is ambitious. Take film for example. The V&A collaborated with The Australian Centre for the Moving Image – who mounted their own Wonderland exhibit a couple of years ago – to focus on Alice in film. The original ACMI exhibition featured more that 40 arthouse and blockbuster films, yet the V&A are presented even more.

I was surprised that there wasn’t more mention of music. The Alice books have served as the source for countless compositions both in the classical and pop traditions. I’m no expert on classical music but on pop know a little more. Even as I went into the film I was humming White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane and I am the Walrus by the Beatles. Both are illustrations of how the counterculture of the 60’s embraced Alice. I would have liked to have seen that explored more. Perhaps it was in the exhibition and didn’t feature so prominently in the film.

There is something for everyone here. I loved the Mad Hatter outfits and learning about the ‘real’ Alice for whom the stories were originally created and later written down. I loved the enthusiasm of Andi Oliver who was clearly a big fan of the rebel Alice who wasn’t afraid to question authority or the basis for rules.

Reviewed by Pat Harrington

1 Comment »

  1. There is this too:

    Like

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