Venture down the rabbit hole into an enchanted world, where expectations are upended and curiosity is rewarded.
A world premiere as part of the Victorian Government’s Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series, the Australian Centre for Moving Image’s (ACMI) newest creation, WONDERLAND, celebrates the screen history of Lewis Carroll’s timeless stories — Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There — in an entirely original experiential exhibition.
The enduring fascination with Carroll’s stories and characters parallels the evolution of filmmaking, providing the perfect subject matter for Australia’s national film museum, ACMI, to highlight the innovations and development of visual technologies over more than a century. From the earliest optical toys to silent film, animation, puppetry, live-action cinema, video games, CGI, 3D and beyond, WONDERLAND explores how the moving image has kept Alice and her stories in the public consciousness, reinvented in contemporary contexts and mediums.
Video Transcript: Lose yourself in WONDERLAND
[Vision: Alice falling down the rabbit hole – tea party with scripting of story behind – people experiencing the magic of the tea party – plate with visions of Alice at the tea party, the March Hare – people enjoying the tea party display]
Jessica Bram – Curator, ACMI
The exhibition Wonderland is the first ever survey of Alice on a screen.
[Vision: Ladies enjoying the exhibition – Jessica speaking – mushrooms – tea party plate magic]
It offered a chance to be theatrical and it offered us a chance to really turn the kind of ordinary exhibition experience on its head a little.
[Vision: Tea party with clocks behind] And so there are things in here that are a bit unexpected which is pretty fun as well.
[Vision: Jessica speaking – Alice in Wonderland sign and film playing – drawings of Alice in Wonderland story]
There’s a timelessness to the kind of strong, smart, cheeky, witty, curious kind of protagonist.
[Vision: Vision of small house with film playing in the background – children sitting on oversized chair reading – Queen of Hearts dress display] But then I think it’s about the wonder of the stories themselves and the nonsense and the absurdity and the kind of backwardness of some of the characters that are as endearing to kids as they are to adults.
[Vision: Adults looking at magic mirror – children looking at the story display of cards and roses – young boy mesmerised by display – male looking at video]
It’s very much a theatrical immersive experiential journey and so in telling the story of Alice we tell the story of film craft.
[Vision: Lady crawling through small door in the wall to Wonderland]
But we also offer visitors a really amazing journey down the rabbit hole and into Wonderland.
[VICTORIA State Government]
[Speaker: Authorised by Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne]