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

3.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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

Strange lands, peculiar animated beings and altered perceptions created to entertain and confuse. White Rabbits, a Mad Queen, a baby transforming into a pig and conundrums by the score what on earth does it all mean?

Lewis Carroll was the enigmatic man who created a magical and surreal reality populated by characters mined from the depths of his imagination. Were they simple tales of fantasy to entertain children or something considerably more profound?

Everyone knows that Johnny Depp plays the Mad Hatter in the Tim Burton film, Alice in Wonderland, but few know of the amazing man who first imagined the world of Alice in Wonderland.

In this film we explore the wonderful world of Lewis Carroll and for the first time delve deep into the mind of the man to discover the hidden mysteries and meanings behind his incredible creations.

Prepare for a journey through the looking glass and to enter a realm of fantastic adventure and mystery.

Written and directed by best selling author and award winning filmmaker, Philip Gardiner, and co- written by author Brian Allan.

The Initiation of Alice in Wonderland: The Looking Glass of Lewis Carroll, 75 Minutes plus Special Features, RYE 1069

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Artist Not Provided
  • Directors: Not Provided
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Reality Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 23, 2010
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002VRNJQM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,553 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Worse than just a boring, repetitive ripoff off old biographies, this film "stars" the director's daughter mugging for the camera over and over. The director's own bias towards the mystical warps Lewis Carroll into some chemical character. The most awful part here is the terribly Photoshopped picture of Lewis Carroll embracing and kissing Alice Liddell !? This is shown maybe 10 times throughout the film. If there is a Liddell or Dodgson estate extant, they should sue.

Please, I threw away 20 bucks for this trash. I hope I can prevent someone else from doing the same. Use the cash to buy one of the fine Lewis Carroll biographies available.
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I have seen several good documentaries about the life of Lewis Carroll; this is not one of them, because it is filled with misinformation. For one example, every time the narrator discusses the family of Alice Liddell, a picture is shown of Carroll with the wife and children of George MacDonald, another Victorian author. Clearly very little research on Carroll himself went into this project, because it spends a lot of time focusing on assumptions that were made about the author long after he died. Also, a lot of time is spent trying to prove that Carroll had a tenuous grasp on reality, and this is treated as though it is a good thing. If you want a documentary with poor computer graphics and a lot of time spent off topic, this would be a great DVD. But if you actually want to learn something about Lewis Carroll, I recommend that you keep looking.
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I have real trouble when every other phrase in a "documentary" sounds like "uncertain," "not known,", or "lost to history." And when half the phrases between those start with "could have." Given a bit more hard historical support, I could have gone along for the ride, keeping a straight face most of the time. But, as with IDers and climate deniers, this director leaps on every gap in the historical record to fill it with conjecture, and pounds against every edifice of evidence, asserting that their remaining trace of uncertaintly carries equal weight with his bizarre and loosely-founded certainties, no matter how far-fetched. You know, the "if they're 5% unsure then it proves my hypothesis" kind of thinking.

Perhaps Dodgson had some neurological disorder - a logician's approach to illogic hardly proves that. And perhaps he was exposed to some philosophical arcana, as were all the other educated people of the time. That doesn't prove that "Alice" was an encrypted guide to enlightenment, sharable only through certain herbs and fungi. And yes, his photo penchant can be interpreted in a modernist and degrading way, or in the Victorian ideal of childhood purity and innocence. I find that a false dichotomy. I enjoy modern (and adult) figure photography both as artistic statements, and also as the target sought by my male role in furthering our species. I can do both at once. This doesn't prove Dodgson did hold such diverse thoughts in mind at the same time. But it seems strange to insist he could not.

A smattering of facts (which other reviewers rightly call into question), a tablespoon of historical uncertainty, and a bucket of conjecture carefully concocted to support the unprovable, wrapped in video imagery that serves little to no purpose. As documentary, I give this negative points. A lot of people, having seen this, would come away less well-informed than when they started. I mostly found it droll.

-- wiredweird
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Format: DVD
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.
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I can understand that most of these "biographies" are the opinions of the director. You could tell this fella is very passionate about his work but listening to the monotinous drone of the dialog left a lot to be desired. At the end, we see the director giving a candid, off camera interview about Lewis Carroll. This is much less stilted and rehersed. More natural. If he could have given the information in this fashion, and interspliced these sequences into the main feature, the dialog would have flowed much smoother and kept our interest better.

I didn't mind the low end video effects. Not sure I could have done better by myself. Which this looks like he did everything himself. "A" for effort.

I didn't mind the director's daughter "mugging for the camera". She was cute and seemed to follow direction well. But get her some better period clothing.

Less repeating of stock photos would've been good. More footage from different productions or art work (if you could afford the permissions).

I don't know if the information is accurate. He DID say things like "It is belived" and "It is possible" which insinuates an opinion. Not fact.

If you're expecting a high dollar Sony, MGM, Miramax, etc production, don't. It's a one man effort, doing something he enjoys. Taken as such, it's not bad.
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