ive been meaning to watch some jan svankmajer for a while so when i saw Neco z Alenky aka Alice i was immediately engrossed in this crazy ass vision of alice through the looking glass. everything was creepy and had a wierd gothic touch to it. i expect nothing else from the land of crazy surrealism, czechoslovakia. to those of you unfamiliar with czech surrealism (wow. that sounded snooty), folks like vera chitlova and the 'guy who did report on a party and its guests' (dont feel like looking it up) have had some wierd films but are great to watch. even early milos forman is a bit wacky (fireman's ball and the superb loves of a blonde come to mind).
svankmajer specializes in stop motion animation and virtually the entire cast save for alice is a stop motion character. being only familiar with the disney take, it was wierd to see the backdrop of alice so dark and rundown. given the original text, i shouldnt be suprised as it seemed a bit macarbe and altogether, a profoundly disturbing story for children.
disney certainly created a wonderful piece of animation and i do remember being wierded out as a kid but this would give me nightmares. whether it was the clacking of the teeth on the rabbit or the vaguely hassidic jewish looking mad hatter, it was definetely a unique watch.
that being said it was fascinating and clocking in at 85 minutes, it never gets dull and is certainly a continually fascinating film to watch.
bring on more czech stuff!