Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Just wanted to say that Tim Burton's Alice has yet to leave me. I listen to the enchaunting* theme by Danny Elfman at least once a week, if not a dozen times. I still want the Cheshire Cat to live with me. Bart still quotes some of his favorite lines from the Queen of Hearts.  I keep hearing one of Alice's speeches in my head.  Not so long ago Buttercup said she wanted to watch it again. I last saw it two weekends ago when my best friend Laughter had been in town. He'd only seen it once and took his kids, so his attention had been divided. How mesmerized he sat! Being a set designer, he takes a special interest in the artistry. I have now seen it seven times.

I've taken to saying "Fairfarren" as a salutation. I'd been getting bored with my usual "goodbye" words anyway.  Screenwriter Linda Woolverton coined Fairfarren. It means "May you travel far under fair skies." It fits perfectly into the world(s) of Lewis Carroll.

Note the paranthesis around the S there. Carroll brought Alice to two distinct places. The movie combines Wonderland and the Looking-Glass World. It seems like something that should ruffle my feathers. But I find myself loving it. Of course, I'd been warmed up to the idea by the "Mad Hatter and March Hare Connection" derived from Carroll's words and Tenniel's drawings. Plus, American McGee's Alice video game exploited this "through-hole" with expert ease. But in the case of Woolverton/Burton's, there is ever so much more interaction and intermingling of both places that it ultimately becomes one place, different regions.

In my last post love letter to this film, I mentioned that I'd been disappointed that the Mock Turtle and the Griffin had not been in the movie.  Technically they are in it - as a grand portrait and part of mural respectively.  Their fates are easily detemined, too.  The Griffin is shown fighting the Jabberwock.  Fairfarren, Griffin.  The Mock Turtle must have ended up as stew as per the Red Queen's statement of loving caviar.  My only "Aw, shucks" that prevents it from being 103% perfect for me comes in the scene of the White Queen's kitchen.  It seems a shame to have the March Hare be the one cooking.  Why not the use the character of the Cook here?  Although I do see the importance of showing the Hare having fled to the Queen.  An addendum to this is Alice remarking that it needs more salt.  Perhaps this is a nod to the There's certainly too much pepper in that soup! line in the original.  But I would have preferred she say "Needs more pepper" to have another indication of her grown-up tastes.  Other than that, just the title.

I've spoken to three people recently who were a little put off or confused by the title of the movie. As I mentioned in the other post, it is mis-titled. It's not a direct adaptation of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland nor even Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There.  All three of them had thought it would to be.  See?  It needs a different title.  (Watching the film should make you aware of that title.)
* Enchaunting - at once haunting & enchanting
Fairfarren, all.

No comments: