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Ten Word or Less Review: A movie made with dead animals.

This Czechoslovakian adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland is a truly bizarre creation.  Not so much a movie than a stop motion experiment seemingly put together by a taxidermist.  The bones of Carroll’s story are on view but traditional narrative is nowhere and what you mostly get are bones, literally.  Creator Jan Svankmajer populates his fairy tale with stop motion critters made up of a taxidermied animals and animal bones, all freakishly adorned with large glass eyes.  It’s all vaguely disturbing and entrancing  for about 20 or 30 minutes.  But unexpectedly, boredom starts to set in after 20 or 30 minutes.  There’s nothing to invest in beyond gawking at the oddness of it all.  That’s pretty much what lone cast member Kristýna Kohoutová does as the title character.

Tim Burton got savaged by Carroll admirers not long ago for his insufferable adaptation of Wonderland.  He threw out Carroll’s beloved dialogue and lathered a monstrosity of CGI all over the story in their place, creating a loathsome movie in the process.  Stylistically this is completely different and nowhere near as bad, but on a fundamental level, it’s very similar.  A strange guy has grabbed Alice in Wonderland, discarded the very thing which defined it, and used it as a device for creating strange images which eventually add up to nothing.


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