Monday morning off to a dull start? Transform it with this Vocaloid musical created by the Japanese artist known as Oster Project.
The part of Alice (and possibly all the other parts as well – I’m shaky on the technology here) was “sung” by Hatsune Miku, a singing synthesizer application which was created using vocal samples from Japanese actress Saki Fujita. Hatsume Miku, one of many singing personas created using the Vocaloid software, has become a virtual idol: her album topped a Japanese weekly album chart and she even performed “live” in Tokyo in last year.
Trevor Brown’s Trevor Brown’s Alice originally came out during 2010’s March Hare Madness, and is being released again in a fancy $78 Special Edition. It appears to be a book with lots of pictures but no conversations (so, a 50% rating on the Alice Scale of Good Bookness.) Brown is a British artist who has gone native in Japan. According to Wikipedia, his “work explores paraphilias, such as pedophilia, BDSM, and other fetish themes,” so be fair-warned. He posted a version on his blog called “diy [do it yourself] pop-up kit,” which is the Special Edition hacked to pieces by the artist: “i kinda suspect everyone who’s buying the special edition alice book will consider it too precious to cut up – so, in the interests of science, i attacked my copy with scissors, to see if it is actually possible to construct the pop-up thingy.”
[…] The world doesn’t need a fifth Indiana Jones movie, or any more big-screen retreads of ’80s cartoons that weren’t that great to begin with. And it especially doesn’t need yet another weak reconceptualization of Romeo And Juliet, or yet another stuffy screen version of Pride And Prejudice to join the wave of them that started back in 1938. In fact, here’s a list of just a few of the literary works that have officially been done to death—and some recommendations for where to find newer, fresher stories just waiting on the page.
Book: Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland and Through The Looking-Glass
Adaptations to date: More than three dozen, notably including the 1951 animated Disney musical version and big-event 1985 and 1999 TV miniseries. Other countries have released their own versions as well; there’s a 24-episode Japanese animated adaptation, an Argentinean mime version, and nationalist versions like 1966’s Alice Of Wonderland In Paris and 1979’sAlice In Spanish Wonderland. Plus, of course, the upcoming Tim Burton sequel to Carroll’s original stories.
Definitive version: The Disney version is probably best known. While it has its own charms, though, it liberally diverges from Carroll’s text, like most Disney adaptations.
Why steer clear? The Alice books are simultaneously two of the most-adapted novels in history, and among the most habitually worst-adapted. Film and TV versions necessarily tend to elide over the original books’ densely packed puns and references, and instead concentrate on spectacle or on drearily plodding through a series of events that should be sprightly and disorienting, yet somehow not manic. It’s a difficult balance, and one that directors rarely seem to get right. What’s left behind is a bunch of creative, fun ideas that have had the creativity and fun leached out through repetition. How many times can we watch Alice grow, shrink, and boggle at it all?
What to adapt instead? Other Carroll works, including his novel Sylvie And Bruno and his poem “The Hunting Of The Snark,” bring in as much clever nonsense, wordplay, and episodic adventure, but are less line-by-line familiar.
Sylvie & Bruno!! How about that? The list continues with A Christmas Carol, The Bible, and other books that will by no means stop inspiring filmmakers in our lifetimes.
I think the creepiest clip from an Alice movie I’ve seen recently was unintentionally scary, which Jenny Woolf linked to at her blog, brought to light in re Will Brooker’s book Alice’s Adventure: Lewis Carroll in Popular Culture (2005). “He suggested looking into the Alice in Wonderland phenomenon in Japan, (where she is known as Arisu).” That’s where this animated Lego version comes in:
And what Hallowe’en could be complete without a bit of Jan Švankmajer: