Close Up

28 December 2016: Adaptations: Alice in Wonderland


Marking 50th year since it was first broadcast, we’re pleased to present a screening of Jonathan Miller’s darkly psychedelic rendition of Alice in Wonderland.
Alice in Wonderland
Jonathan Miller
1966 | 84 min | B/W | Digital

"Broadcast in the centenary year of the publication of Lewis Carroll's novel, Jonathan Miller's television adaptation is both a completely logical translation of the book, and a radical departure from convention. Almost all other versions of Alice in Wonderland are aimed squarely at children, but Miller's intended audience was not only adults but those so familiar with the book that they would still be able to recognise what was going on even when his film was at its most elliptical. [...] Miller is careful not to create a clichéd 'dreamlike' ambience – he respects the logic of Dodgson the mathematician as well as the fantasies of Carroll the dreamer, and plays everything straight, photographed in crisp, deep-focus black-and-white by regular Ken Russell collaborator Dick Bush. Of all Carroll adaptations, only Jan Svankmajer's partly animated Alice is as faithful to the spirit as well as the letter of the original." – Michael Brooke