The brilliant Czech animator Jan Švankmajer's first feature — much anticipated after a string of amazing Svankmajer shorts stretching back to the early 1960s — was this highly perverse, highly personal adult adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, hailed by many as the definitive film version of Lewis Carroll’s classic. Young Kristýna Kohoutová, in the title role, is Alice’s only live actor; she shares the screen with a sinister supporting cast of superbly animated puppets. The ominous action unfolds within Švankmajer's delirious, disturbing dream universe, a surrealist minefield of "the marvellous, the cruel, the erotic, the nightmarish, the amoral... Drawers forever refuse to open or they vomit myriad magical objects; tears flow that can literally drown you; doors only open to reveal new mysteries beyond. There are horrible, instantaneous size changes and compulsive recurrent chases. Even Carroll's erotic attraction to little girls is not slighted, and the famed trial scenes become an uncomfortable analogy to Stalin's show trials” (Amos Vogel, Film Comment). " A wonderland, indeed, imbued with a grotesque, cruel, and menacing dream-logic at once distinctively Švankmajer's and true to the spirit of Carroll ... As always, Svankmajer’s methods are hugely enjoyable in their perversity” (Geoff Andrew, Time Out). Colour, 35mm, in Czech with English subtitles. 84 mins.
"The definitive version of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland."Time Out | full review
"Mr. Svankmajer's extraordinary film explores the story's dark undercurrents."New York Times | full review
"It takes us back to a time in the history of movies when audiences responded to the images on screen with a combination of awe and fear."Washington Post | full review