mon 23/09/2019

DVD: Jan Švankmajer's Alice | reviews, news & interviews

DVD: Jan Švankmajer's Alice

DVD: Jan Švankmajer's Alice

A re-release of the great Czech animator's first full-length film


Alice (1988), directed by Jan Svankmajer. This psychoanalytically inclined visually uncompromising detail-study of repetitive structures of fantasy features metaphors of size highly relevant in our consumerist Western society, while engaging the Victorian esthetics of mechanical precision and conservation of sensual experiences. Objects appear in a metonymical relationship to the body consciousness as excisions from the unifying reflection, thus overtaking the entire field of awareness. Fragmentation of consciousness is depicted through the object-subject analogies such as: porcelain doll- curios girl-child, voracious rodent- favorite stuffed toy, locked drawer- the unconscious, key that opens the locks-sexual awakening, cakes decorated with peeled almonds-earthly pleasures transforming the self-perception of the girl. The refined directorial vision with precise points of reference and grotesque staging of automatons and mechanical toys inhabiting and escaping child’s fantasy of an abstract order ruling the life outside her enclosed existence, lend the uncanny beauty to this highly imaginative adaptation of the Lewis Carroll’s 1865 classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Marija, is this a spoof of the worst academic writing or for real?

Add comment

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters

Advertising feature


A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway


Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.



This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman


Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.


Book by 30 September and get tickets from £15*
with no booking fee.