lewis carroll’s alice in wonderland pops up as part of the cultural zeitgeist in intervals, and now is one such interval. tim burton’s new film starring johnny depp as, of course, the mad hatter, and helena bonham carter as the red queen is one instance of this resurfacing. camille rose garcia’s beautiful visual accompaniment to carroll’s novel is just out as well, her stunning animations that are at once whimsical, poignant and downright creepy are fitting companions to carol’s literary acid trip.
this is as good a time as any for a reinvigoration of fascination with alice. so much of the fantasy that is generated within our popular culture does not hold the delicious magic of a wonderland. digitized, synthesized flesh, children’s shows with stop action built into them that shows a mouse clicking over objects to make a point…these are exactly what alice is not.
more than anything, the story is an anthem to “no matter how weird things can get, you will be safe”. there is a strange lack of foreboding in alice, when much of the story should actually evoke terror, and that can be good or bad. alice is soma, strange, compelling soma, with mathematical riddles, and talking animals…it is bed time tale fare and veiled victorian naughtiness, and it is an adventure in wonderland for a time that has dissected wonder, processed it, packaged and sold it, again and again and again, until it has no taste.