The Initiation of Alice in Wonderland: The Looking Glass of Lewis Carroll

( 8 )

Overview

This fantastical drama tells the story of Lewis Carroll, the enigmatic author of such classics as Alice in Wonderland. Detailing the author's personal, and even controversial inspirations for his epic stories, the film also delves into whimsical visual representations of Carrol's curious inner world, illustrating his vivid imagination from his own point of view. ~ Cammila Collar
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DVD (Pan & Scan)
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Overview

This fantastical drama tells the story of Lewis Carroll, the enigmatic author of such classics as Alice in Wonderland. Detailing the author's personal, and even controversial inspirations for his epic stories, the film also delves into whimsical visual representations of Carrol's curious inner world, illustrating his vivid imagination from his own point of view. ~ Cammila Collar
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/23/2010
  • UPC: 885444097591
  • Original Release: 2009
  • Rating:

  • Source: Reality Ent
  • Presentation: Pan & Scan
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:17:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 56,076

Cast & Crew

Technical Credits
Philip Gardiner Director, Screenwriter
Brian Allan Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Initiation of Alice in Wonderland: The Looking Glass of Lewis Carroll
1. Introduction [7:23]
2. Lewis Carroll [7:00]
3. The Lidell Family and Alice [7:51]
4. Photography [4:03]
5. Alice In Wonderland [4:50]
6. Visions [4:55]
7. Codes [4:31]
8. Ancient Mysteries [5:32]
9. Transformation [11:09]
10. Conclusion [5:57]
11. What's In the Fireplace [1:30]
12. Interview With the Director Philip Gardiner [12:16]
13. Alice In Wonderland [8:19]
14. Elementary My Dear Watson [33:40]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Initiation of Alice in Wonderland: The Looking Glass of Lewis Carroll
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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4 Star

(6)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Intriguing

    "The Initiation of Alice in Wonderland: The Looking Glass of Lewis Carroll" offers a brief--but detailed--examination of an author who has been both celebrated and reviled (rumor follows Lewis Carroll even today, unproven but no less damaging). Through the course of the film, viewers are treated to the wild and the sensible; both of which were features of Carroll's work.

    Inspecting the pages of "Alice In Wonderland", the film finds new meanings to old favorites. Mathematics and words are linked to secret societies, religious fanaticism and more. Carroll is presented as a complicated individual, torn between faith and questions. He is a social oddity, too brilliant for the masses and too shy for even acquaintances. His comfort, the film assures, comes only from his work... and the relationship he forms with the Liddel family; specifically, the youngest daughter Alice.

    It is this point that the film emphasis most--if only because it is the point that has followed Carroll throughout the years. Accusations of less than honorable intentions have been given often, but have never been verified. The film explains this, offering a more sympathetic portrayal; and for that it is to be recommended. Too many products prefer to sensationalize this element. The mood here is straightforward. Viewers won't be bombarded with scandal. And that's to be appreciated.

    The film threatens to succumb to its own cleverness, however. Seeking to connect every detail of Wonderland to a deeper meaning, it becomes less an innovation and more an indulgence. Viewers may tire of far-reaching conspiracies (especially with no real evidence to support them). Proof will be wished for but will not be offered.

    Still, "The Initiation of Alice in Wonderland: The Looking Glass of Lewis Carroll" is a worthwhile experience.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Informational and Interesting

    This documentary provided an in-depth and fascinating look into the world of one of the most imaginative writers in literary history. I, like most people, have been a fan of "Alice in Wonderland" since I was a child and I found this biographical film to be quite interesting. Learning about Lewis Carroll provides fascinating insight into the experiences and inspirations behind his masterpiece. I was already aware of some of the facts about his life including rumors of his drug use. His relationship with the real Alice was also explored in the book "Lives of the Muses" by Francine prose. The speculation surrounding his belonging to secret societies was not something I had previously heard about so that was interesting. The photos shown throughout also provided a rare glimpse into the Victorian era, as well as his personal life. I do agree the little girl featured in the film was unnecessary and a bit distracting but all in all I believe anyone interested in learning more about "Alice in Wonderland" or the author, who brought it to life, will benefit from watching this documentary.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Nicely done

    If you're not a Lewis Carroll/Alice fan, this documentary may be too much, but for real lovers of Carroll's incredible imagination, or if you're new to Alice in Wonderland, this is great stuff. There's a ten-minute silent version of Alice circa 1920 to contrast with the current Johnny Depp/Tim Burton offering, and enough historical context and conspiracy innuendo to spark imagination, discussion and investigation. I have no idea if Lewis Carroll had an inappropriate interest in young girls, or a drug habit, or laced his books with mystical, religious propaganda (I think probably none of the above) but it's still interesting to speculate. John Tenniel's original illustrations from the book are a highlight too.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Strange Man Who Wrote A Strange And Wonderful Classic

    There are few of us who haven't read or at least seen Alice in Wonderland, whether the Disney animated version or the more recent Tim Burton film. This DVD is a documentary that covers Lewis Carroll's life and times. The filmmaker speculates on Mr. Carroll's drug habits, his fascination with young girls and his hobby of photographing nude children. It also seems that he had a close relationship--maybe too close--with his muse, Alice Little, who was only 11 years old.

    The narrator also discusses Lewis Carrol's epilepsy and how the strange things the author incorporated into his book may have come from hallucinations during seizures. I also wonder if some may have been drug induced! Some of the graphics aren't that great, but there are many wonderful historical photos, and original illustrations by John Tenniel.

    Whenever I watch a movie or documentary I hope to walk away having gained something. After viewing this DVD my mind is still whirling with all I learned about Lewis Carroll, his life, and times.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    A thought provoking look at Lewis Carroll

    This DVD takes a look at the life of Lewis Carroll, exploring his history and the possible deeper meaning to his Alice books. Though I've been a fan of Alice since I was a child, I didn't know much about Lewis Carroll himself. I was fascinated to learn that he was a brilliant mathematician. On one hand, that perplexes me, since math and creative writing are such opposite pursuits. But when you think about the number of riddles and logic puzzles in the Alice books, it really does make sense. Because of Carroll's mathematics training, he was able to perceive a world that , like Schrodinger's Cat, is and isn't all at the same time.

    The DVD also talks a lot about Carroll's personal issues. He had a terrible stutter and may have suffered from epileptic fits. The narrator of the film suggests that many of the odd things Alice sees in Wonderland might have come from actual hallucinations brought on by seizures.

    The most controversial aspect of Carroll's history is his, possibly unnatural, fascination with young girls. The documentary shows a number of beautiful photographs taken by Carroll and goes on to say that he was known for photographing children, many of whom were nude. The narrator is quick to point out that this was not unusual for the time but when you combine it with Carroll's "to death" bachelorhood and his playdates with the real Alice and her sister, you have to wonder. Part way through the film I began thinking Michael Jackson and then the narrator brought up the similarities as well. Looking at Lewis Carroll's history, you can see there is a startling parallel between the writer and the pop prince, down to both of their fondness for wearing gloves on unnecessary occasions.

    About the only place I found myself disagreeing with the piece was when they delve into Carroll's association with secret societies. They suggest that there are secrets hidden in the story with words of the same "numerical value" standing in for other words. While I don't doubt that there's a meaning behind the story, I'm not sure you have to delve this deep. I believe it's likely more related to the drug use that is also eluded to on this DVD.

    Overall, I found this to be a really fascinating look at Lewis Carroll. Not all of the graphics are that great, but there are some excellent historical photos and sketches. I have to say, I came away wanting to give Alice in Wonderland a second read to see if I could spot all of the hidden clues that were mentioned on this DVD.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    A Victorian Author Against the Victorian Current

    A little patience with slow pacing and repetitive music soundtrack will reward the viewer with a wealth of little-known biographical background about Lewis Carroll and the genesis of his inspiration for Alice In Wonderland. The filmmaker takes on some of the recent "scandalous" revelations about Carroll's relationship with eleven-year-old muse Alice Little, and places them in the context of the Victorian era, thereby defusing much of the sensationalism. A portrait is painted of a shy, serious and brilliant loner who struggled for expression of his unusual ideas and was perhaps after all trying to exorcize his demons.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    EVERYTHING you'd want to know about Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland

    If you're not a Lewis Carroll/Alice fan, this documentary may be too much, but for real lovers of Carroll's incredible imagination, or if you're new to Alice in Wonderland, this is great stuff. There's a ten-minute silent version of Alice circa 1920 to contrast with the current Johnny Depp/Tim Burton offering, and enough historical context and conspiracy innuendo to spark imagination, discussion and investigation. I have no idea if Lewis Carroll had an inappropriate interest in young girls, or a drug habit, or laced his books with mystical, religious propaganda (I think probably none of the above) but it's still interesting to speculate. John Tenniel's original illustrations from the book are a highlight too.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews