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Alice Through the Looking Glass

UK 1973
produced by
Rosemary Hill for BBC
directed by James MacTaggart
starring Sarah Sutton, Brenda Bruce, Freddie Jones, Geoffrey Bayldon, Judy Parfitt, Richard Pearson, June Watson, Vivenne Moore, Jeffrey Segal, Anthony Collin, Raymond Mason, Bruce Purchase, Stanley Lebor, Jonathan Cecil, Richard Speight, Ian Trigger, Stephen Moore, Robin Wentworth, Nicholas Jones, Douglas Milvain
screenplay by James MacTaggart, based on the novel Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

Alice in Wonderland

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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One day, Alice (Sarah Sutton) just wonders what the world might be on the other side of the mirror, where everything's the wrong way around ... and walks right through the mirror. Things are quite different over there: There are flowers who talk calling Alice nothing but an odd floating flower, there are chess pieces who act like humans but who tell Alice how to get ahead in the world behind a mirror ... which is basically just like a pawn in a chess game. There's the very rude and hair-splitting Red Queen (Judy Parfitt), who won't let Alice finish a single sentence, and the over-obliging White Queen (Brenda Bruce), out of whom Alice doesn't get much of any use, the bizarre Tweedledum (Anthony Collin) and Tweedledee (Raymond Mason), the constantly depressed Humpty Dumpty (Freddie Jones), the quite insane White King (Richard Pearson) and his weird messengers Hare and Hatter, the totally ineffective White Knight (Geoffrey Bayldon), and many more bizarre characters. Alice also has to learn that the more she tries to get to somewhere else, the more she remains in the same place - but eventually, she gets to the far end of the chessboard, and like all good pawns, she becomes a queen ... which of course doesn't mean the Red Queen will stop pestering her, and she even holds a banquet in her honour without inviting her. But when Alice shows up nevertheless, she soon has to realize all of this is too mad for her ... and eventually, she returns back to her real world - but what, praytell, is real?

 

Alice Through the Looking Glass stays remarkably close to Lewis Carroll's linguistic artistry, much more so than most other versions, and actually manages to turn his many wordplays into something more than an endless sequence of self-contained numbers (something that even many less literal adaptations suffer from) - which is also made possible thanks to a first rate cast that uniformly manages to bring the movie's characters to life beyond merely stroking actors' egos.

And that said, Alice Through the Looking Glass is anything but perfect: Mainly, it's direction is stagey to the point of being boring, the concept of filming almost the whole movie in front of blue screens with drawn backdrops copied in later on suffers from a technically extremely poor execution that also shows a lack in creativity both in the backdrops as such and in their application. Basically, there doesn't seem to be a reasonable need at all for putting the many blue screen effects in there other than to save on outside shoots and such - and that really cheapens the film, mind you.

Still well worth a look if you're at all into Alice in Wonderland - but the whole thing could have so benefited from better execution ...

 

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD