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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

watch it: “Alice in Wonderland (1903)”

Wherein we see that FX have been a part of cinema from the very beginning. Too bad the film is so damaged:

Thank the British Film Institute’s National Archive that the film is in at least passably watchable shape:

The first-ever film version of Lewis Carroll’s tale has recently been restored by the BFI National Archive from severely damaged materials. Made just 37 years after Lewis Carroll wrote his novel and eight years after the birth of cinema, the adaptation was directed by Cecil Hepworth and Percy Stow, and was based on Sir John Tenniel’s original illustrations. In an act that was to echo more than 100 years later, Hepworth cast his wife as the Red Queen [Tim Burton cast his wife, Helena Bonham Carter, in the same role], and he himself appears as the Frog Footman. Even the Cheshire cat is played by a family pet.

With a running time of just 12 minutes (8 of which survive), Alice in Wonderland was the longest film produced in England at that time. Film archivists have been able to restore the film’s original colours for the first time in over 100 years.

For more info, visit BFI ScreenOnline.

(via the Guardian’s Film Blog)

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  • What a beautiful piece of film history-

  • david

    nice post thanks

  • Der Bruno Stroszek

    Yes, this is absolutely wonderful.

  • Robert P

    Very interesting. They were able to do interesting effects even at that point in film’s infancy.

    I would think things like this would be a candidate for high-tech CGI restoration treatment to clean up the damaged portions.

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