A whirling, swirling, tumbling Cheshire Cat in 3D should melt anybody’s stoicism (a classic story, predictable casting, Victoriana and dodgy soundtrack). Re-reading the beginning of Caroll’s story, I realise that maybe it embedded in me a particular fetish for descriptions for a combination of heat and malaise, and nothing beats Alice’s lazy day in the Garden when it’s perfect to be outside but too sticky and sweaty to do anything. Except get to your feet and quick, chase that queer rabbit! Soaring temperatures and lazy heat waves are being sorely missed. Roll on summer, please.
Friday night was my first trip to the BFI IMAX (yes first ever – I’m a stubborn Iggy) to see Disney and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. Melding elements of the two Alice stories together with some new riffing, this Alice has puzzled and underwhelmed the many. But as soon as the Red Queen plonks herself down and shouts “dwink!”, I am won over. Bonham-Carter’s toddling monarch is a delight. And perhaps Johnny Depp really does have the creative resources to play 101 developmentally arrested kooks ( ok – as long as I don’t have look at this facial expression again. They’ve done well to borrow Red Queen’s inflated capitulum from John Tenniel’s illustrations, although I personally enjoy that Alice also has a slightly outsize head in his vision. Red Queen’s crustacean guardsmen are straight out of the Dark Crystal. This is a positive.
Andrew Lloyd Webber is on TV right now trying to capture him a new Dorothy. Perhaps I should do a post on young girls that adventure in foreign dimensions. I know a lot of people favour Pan’s Labyrinth as an uncompromising fantasy about a child who discovers dimension travel, with nothing saccharine or cosy about it, but apart from the terror of the monster with (e)yeballs in his palms, the pace and plot elements of that film do nothing for me. Which reminds me of the major duff note in the Disney version – what’s up with Alice’s Big Colonial Adventure at the end of the movie?