The showing was busy and we had some unnecessary bullshit at the box office, when we were told there were no tickets left, despite us having bought the £25 pass (described in the programme thus: ‘all screenings and events in the life of objects retrospective’). Yes, the person selling us the ticket had said please pick up a ticket for each performance, no he hadn’t said you need a ticket or else you won’t get in. We came in good time so I thought it was pretty out of order to at first claim we couldn’t get in. I mean it’s not rocket science to organise seating, but i was wondering how they would do it with the pass – to me it would seem obvious to sell however many passes and keep that many seats available until releasing them maybe 10 minutes before the start of the film (AND TELL EVERYONE THAT UPFRONT). so then there would be tickets available but in the few events that probably will sell out (for example this one and faust on saturday, perhaps conspirators of pleasure as well, even though that is showing on a monday). That is a system that might work, rather than selling passes and then baldly (and inaccurately) telling people they can’t get in. So to ensure that didn’t happen again, after the screening we picked up a long string of tickets for every other event (memories of the rotterdam film festival before it went paperless).
But anyway, I digress.
Alice began abruptly, after some shit advert, but everyone quickly settled down into a dreamstate. There were quite a lot of kids there including a veritable Alice sitting directly in front of me. A couple of families left which didn’t really surprise me and there was one kid who kept on making baffled comments but everyone else (including the ten year old in front of me) seemed to enjoy it.
As I’ve read recently, Svankmajer’s use of sound is worth experiencing in the cinema and of course this film was always going to be absurdly psychedelic. The gradual descent into the Wonderland is great and the switching of Alice between human and doll form was great. Parts of the film are repetitive but then so are dreams. I wished I was slightly more inebriated to be honest, but on a Monday night, I can’t do much. Also i couldn’t get the bloody top of my cider. Black Fox cider bottle their bottles well.
Some of Will Self’s most strange writings deal with differences of scale and I loved the bit where Alice traps herself in the white rabbit’s house by eating cookies which make her grow larger.
Following that she gets chased by a range of extremely odd characters, some of whom it was a real pleasure to meet in the (un)flesh at the exhibition which is also running as part of the retrospective.