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.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
Black & white psychedelia with sitar music by Ravi Shankar. Great cast, and Alice has a captivatingly blank stare throughout. It seems more correct to have this all in British accents as the American versions are somehow lacking authenticity, given the very British puns and things like treacle and so on.
This version is not interested in the wonder bits or the funny animals, only the subtext: the delirium of social rituals, as experienced by a Victorian woman-child, objectified and overdisciplined by definition, pushed to psychotic levels of frustration and boredom.
Photographed beautifully by Ken Russell stalwart Dick Bush, this is, in places, a precursor to that heady pubescent langour of Picnic at Hanging Rock. The wordless opening sequence in particular is stunning. Too bad the script doesn't quite live up to the visuals, sticking perhaps too closely to Carroll's Victoriana bore-fest in places. .