Adventures in Wonderland: Alice and Other Lost Girls in Fantastic Worlds
In conjunction with the exhibition In Wonderland, LACMA is screening a series of mind-bending fairy tales and fantasies that draw from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice” stories either directly or in spirit. Nearly twenty-five years into his career as a filmmaker, renowned Czech artist and “militant surrealist” Jan Svankmajer made his feature film debut with 1988’s Alice, a haunting re-envisioning of the Carroll original that mixes live-action with stop-motion animation. Further out on the fringes of consciousness is the rarely seen cult film Valerie and Her Week of Wonders by Svankmajer’s compatriot Jaromil Jires. The psychedelic irreverence and feminist undertones of the first two features by Vera Chytilova—Daisies and We Eat the Fruit of the Trees of Paradise—led to the filmmaker being banned from working for seven years by Czech censors. Paramount Pictures produced the sound era’s first feature adaptation of "Alice" in 1933 and it’s curiouser than most. Amid expressionistic sets and groundbreaking special effects, an all-star cast that includes Cary Grant, W.C. Fields, and Gary Cooper guides Alice through an absurdist wonderland. Rounding out the program are two more Alice features, one universally beloved and the other largely unknown: Disney’s colorful classic and Lou Bunin’s long-unavailable puppet production, both released in 1951.
This series is co-presented by The Cinefamily. For screenings at The Cinefamily, please visit http://www.cinefamily.org.
Programmed by Bernardo Rondeau, Assistant Curator, Film Programs.