Skip to main content

Xcèntric. 13th season 2013-2014

Through the looking glass


The kingdom of dreams is vital to awakening our imagination and understanding. Or at least that is what mages and shamans of old believed, and psychoanalysts and some creators still do. Švankmajer had always wanted to make a film that blended dream and waking so that it was impossible to tell them apart.

“Close your eyes, or you won’t see anything”, says the character of Alice in his famous first full-length film, an Alice that is a world away from Disney and very close to the original text in its expressive freedom and evocative images, referring simply and directly to childhood feelings and fears. Švankmajer chose Carroll for his first feature, having already explored his world in the shorts Jabberwocky (1971) and Down to the cellar (1983); he considered the latter his most personal film. The dream as the door to another reality was often used by Starewitch, and in many of his films, such as La Voix du rossignol (1923), the main character enters the world of fantasy through a dream. The dream state is also a recurrent theme in the work of the Brothers Quay, once again opening a door to a world where the extraordinary is the norm.

  • Stille Nacht I: Dramolet, Brothers Quay, 1988, 1 min
  • La Voix du rossignol (The voice of the nightingale), L. Starewitch, 1923, video, 13 min
  • Něco z Alenky (Alícia), J. Švankmajer, 1987, 35 mm, 84 min.


You might also be interested in

Organised by