New Zealander David Elliot, whose book Snark: Being a true history of the expedition that discovered the Snark and the Jabberwock … and its tragic aftermath won several prestigious awards, has a Snark: A Victorian Odyssey exhibition currently running at the Ashburton Art Gallery, November 5 – February 10. It is presented in the form of a Cabinet of Curiosities and features several artifacts from Otago Museum plus other objects made by his friends. A photographer, Chris Gilman Gable, has made a short documentary on David and the exhibit, if you don’t happen to be in the neighborhood.
“This holiday season, Tiffany & Co. introduces the latest chapter of its ‘Believe in Dreams’ campaign, which takes viewers behind the scenes of a Tiffany workshop where surprising and surreal moments unfold, featuring a star-studded cast of characters. The campaign film opens at Tiffany & Co.’s iconic Fifth Avenue flagship store, where actress, musician and style icon Zoë Kravitz stars as a Tiffany sales professional working late into the evening. Kravitz is drawn from reality into a Tiffany Blue®dreamscape infused with pops of neon. At the heart of this whimsical wonderland is an underground holiday workshop with craftspeople, and at the helm is a quirky manager played by model Xiao Wen Ju. The exquisite workmanship and masterful artistry of Tiffany & Co. are brought to life in a series of witty vignettes with cameos from models Karen Elson and Maye Musk, among others. The journey culminates in a ‘madcap tea party’ hosted by Naomi Campbell.” The ad features Aerosmith’s 1973 hit “Dream On.” Lots of Wonderland references; click here.
Four new books of possible interest to Carrollians:
- Seek & Find Classics: Alice in Wonderland, retold by Sarah Powell, illustrated by Isabel Muñoz, and published by Little Bee Books, asks toddlers to find various things hidden within pictures. It carries a short biography and introduction by the redoubtable Edward Wakeling.
- Lewis Carroll: Author of Alice in Wonderland, a POD (or e-) comic book from TidalWave Productions, sets a biography of sorts within Wonderland. The writing can be moderately amusing, but the drawing is hideously amateurish, rendering both CLD and Alice as repugnant. Alan Tannenbaum suggests CLD looks more like Soupy Sales; I’d wager that Mortimer Snerd was used as a model for Alice. It’s that bad.
- Following on the heels of Alice in Brexitland (Ebury Press, 2017; KL 101:64) comes Theresa Maybe in Brexitland written and illustrated by young activist/performer Madeleina Kay. There’s no publisher listed, but one can get it through her website.
- Drink Me: Curious Cocktails from Wonderland by Nick Perry and Paul Rosser (Rock Point, 2018) weaves Wonderland references through recipes and instructions for making the refreshments for a thoroughly boozy tea-party.
Eva Le Gallienne’s legendary 1932 Broadway version (Josephine Hutchinson as Alice, Burgess Meredith as the Duck, Eva Le Gallienne herself as the White Queen) was re-created and broadcast on television by the Hallmark Hall of Fame in 1955, starring Gillian Barber as Alice, with featured players including Tom Bosley and Elsa Lanchester. That video has been considered “lost” to this day; it wasn’t even listed in the definitive “Alice on the Screen” in the 2018 Annotated Alice! But somehow, miraculously, it has now become available as streaming video on Amazon Prime (one can also purchase it on DVD – scroll down the page to find the little box on the left).
The production was re-created in 1982, as we all know, with Richard and Kate Burton, Colleen Dewhurst, Donald O’Connor, Nathan Lane, etc., which is widely available.
(A tip of the Hatter’s hat to Terry Steven for letting us know about this!)
Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s 2010 setting for the Royal Ballet, with an original score by Joby Talbots, was filmed at the Royal Opera House and is now available on Blu-ray from Opus Arte. The ballet has garnered very positive reviews as it traveled around the globe (including at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles in October 2012, and at the Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C., in January, 2013). It was released on regular DVD in 2010 and 2014. A preview is available here.
Clé de Peau Beauté, a global skincare product line, has made a sweet commercial with the tag line “Turn the key to a world of fantastical discovery. Unlock Wonderland.” Click here. (If you view it on smartphone through a VR viewer, you have the option of seeing it in 3D!)
The phenomenal “Wonderland” exhibition on various aspects of Alice’s adventures in films at ACMI (The Australian Centre for the Moving Image) running through October 6 was reported on by Matt Crandall in the Spring 2018 issue of the Knight Letter (KL 100:57). What we neglected to mention was how fantastic their catalog is. Published by Thames & Hudson as an oversize hardcover, it is sumptuously illustrated, superbly designed, and contains many enlightening essays. The fine price of AU$65 is somewhat dampened by the shipping cost (AU$88), a total of US$111. Nonetheless, most highly recommended! Order it here! (And you get a free tote bag!)
Ok, it’s taken us a while to notice it, but in the summer of 2014, a project by the National Literacy Trust (UK) scattered 50 book-shaped benches across the capital for the summer, each dedicated to an iconic London-related author or character (although that criterion is rather loosely interpreted; Dr. Seuss?). Through the Looking-Glass (left) was drawn, obviously, by Ralph Steadman. Read about it in The Guardian; a list and photos of the fifty benches is here. They were auctioned off that October.
Thanks to the New York Public Library’s InstaNovels project, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland “went viral on Instagram this week, spruced up for the digital age as a colorful, animated Instagram Story that leads into the complete text of the 1865 novel. The #InstaNovels project is an attempt to remind younger Internet users about libraries and to plug its free e-book program and popular podcasts. Some 39,673 people opened up Alice and stayed with it to the end.” USAToday reported it here.
Face Off is an American reality television game show on the Syfy cable network in which a group of makeup artists compete against each other to create prostheses such as are found in science fiction and horror films. The grand finale of the thirteenth (and final) season, called Face Off: Battle Royale, has something of interest. As one viewer put it, “Episodes 9 and 10 (originally aired July 31 and August 7) were called ‘Through the Looking Glass’ Parts I and II. The challenge was for three teams to create makeup and costuming for new characters from ‘lost’ chapters of Through the Looking-Glass. Scripts were provided, and a short movie was then filmed using the contestants’ character designs. Whoever came up with the new characters seems to have been channeling Oz, not Wonderland. There was a person of porcelain, a person of tin, a lollipop girl, a ginger general—all that was missing was a cowardly lion.” More info: Part One and Part Two.