Alice Is Everywhere explores many cinematic wonderlands — from the Land of Oz and Coney Island to 1970s Paris and Beat-era San Francisco — but also peeks behind the looking glass, into the wonderland of cinema itself. In many of these films, cinema is a ‘rabbit hole’; a portal into the imaginary and the unknown.
To make new fictions, to keep stories afloat, requires a good deal of dexterity and imagination — famous attributes of Alice and her creator Lewis Carroll, whose spirit of adventure and inventiveness is observable across this season. In the opening scene of the wildly inventive Celine and Julie, a green-feathered rabbit’s tail coaxes us into the film’s fantastic world of fiction and of fiction-making.
Improvisation and discovery also imbue the early American independent films featured in this program, such as Little Fugitive, with its eyes open to the world, and the rough-and-ready Flower Thief. The curiosity of a young girl, which takes a dark turn in Svankmajer's uncanny stop-motion films, is tenderly observed and made pliant to worldly experience in Alice in the Cities.
Dreamlands are triumphantly realised in The Wizard of Oz , Valerie and Her Week of Wonders and Juliet of the Spirits — works which show the relationship between the highly imaginative and the ultra-sensory, and how fantasies can colour and become the world. Desperately Seeking Susan followed Celine and Julie’s feathered boa down the rabbit hole. This program hopes that you’ll step inside too.
Curated by Audrey Lam, Alena Lodkina and Keegan O'Connor