Friday, April 25, 2014

The Best Movie I Saw This Week: Alice in Wonderland

This week, most of the films I saw were part of our Cannes Proje(c)t. And the quality was very, very high. But eventually, I chose a movie outside the project, Alice in Wonderland (Clyde Geromini et al, 1951), as the best movie of the week. I had watched the Disney Classic before and I don't think I could ever get tired of it.

It is most likely the funniest film in the Disney Canon, with an absurdist and exaggerated sense of humour that I have to say, is perfectly encaptured in the Spanish dubbing of the film. I am a Nazi when it comes to seeing films in the Original Version but some of the Spanish Disney voices are so ingrained in my brain that it does not make sense watching them in any other way.

Another remarkable thing about the film is its rythm. Once Alice falls down the rabbit hole, it's non-stop crazy. It's impossible to play favorites; if I had to choose the parts I like best I'd go with the door, the dodo, and I would just list every moment in the film in chronological order. I mean, what's not to love? The story about the oysters is so delicious (like the oysters were!) and the scene with the flowers is so funny and original. The caterpillar is one of the most literal scenes from the wonderful novel. The one at the White Rabbit's house is so great with poor Bill. And the Cheshire Cat and the cards and the Queen and the trial and of course, the most iconic scene in the movie, the unbirthday party.

Alice in Wonderland is probably the only Disney film without a lesson to learn at the end, something very basic if you know the novel, that the Tim Burton version got wrong (among so many other things). And that is so cool because our heroine does not need to learn a lesson other than the one her sister is droning on about. I just love Alice as a character so much. She is funny, polite when she needs to be but generally she doesn't give a fuck what the crazy people in Wonderland think of her. I think that in this age of overpraising mediocre films such as Frozen (Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, 2013) for not being medieval in their representation of women, it's a good idea to turn to the classics to see how things were done.

Other films I watched this week:
Topsy-Turvy (Mike Leigh, 2000)
Heremakono (Abderrahmane Sissako, 2003)
Uzak (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2002)
The Return (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2003)
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Marc Webb, 2014)
Capote (Bennett Miller, 2005)
Tiempo de Valientes (Damián Szifrón, 2005)
Tiresia (Bertrand Bonello, 2003)
The Three Burials of Melquíades Estrada (Tommy Lee Jones, 2005)

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