Published: 05:00, 14 October 2021
A film giving a window into the V&A's landmark exhibition exploring the cultural impact of Alice in Wonderland has been made possible thanks to two Kent professionals.
The documentary of Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser - which is the first ever exhibition at the V&A in London to be filmed - features the work of Faversham-based film editor Tim Thompsett, east Kent composer James Pickering, as well as guest artist Ralph Steadman, from Maidstone.
The unique filmed experience, which will be screened in selected cinemas in the county from today, gives Alice fans the chance for a private view discovering more about the book’s evolution from manuscript to global phenomenon and enjoy the V&A’s blockbuster exhibition.
Presented by V&A senior curator Kate Bailey and broadcaster Andi Oliver, it has been filmed especially for the big screen with composer James Pickering's atmospheric soundtrack, capturing the surreal dreaminess of a Wonderland adventure.
Guest contributors include Maidstone-based artist Ralph Steadman and Peter Blake, while the role of young Alice is played by Olivia Wells.
Director Dione Orrom said: "We wanted to find a dynamic, visual way to interact with the exhibition, to help bring the experience of being in the live space to the screen. We also wanted to show different layers of reality and to bring in an element of the magical, and that is how the idea of having our own Alice in the space developed."
The V&A is the first museum to fully explore the cultural impact of Alice in Wonderland and its ongoing inspiration for the likes of Salvador Dalí,Tim Burton and Vivienne Westwood.
Cinema audiences will be transported into five Alice-inspired worlds arranged thematically, spanning film, performance, fashion, art, music and photography.
Marc Allenby, CEO of Trafalgar Releasing added: “Alice has been an inspiration for generations and is an icon for today. We’re delighted to be partnering with the V&A to bring this ground-breaking exhibition to a global cinema audience.”
Film editor Tim Thompsett said: "It is my job to take the raw footage (rushes) from a film shoot and turn them into an entertaining programme.
"The V&A Presents Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser was a joy to work on. I'm a bit of a history fan and I learned tons surrounding the creation and the influence of Lewis Carroll's wonderful books."
He was able to edit while working from home much of the time. "It gives me more time to be with my family and enjoy the benefits of living in Faversham. It depends on the project I am working on as to whether I need to commute, but I try to stay local as often as I can. The Alice film rushes were prepared and organised for me at my company in London. Then, using some nifty technology, I control the computers in London from home to make the film.
See the trailer here:
"I feel proud of the film and I hope the audiences here in Kent enjoy losing themselves down the rabbit hole of this delightful exhibition. I will probably be heading to the Curzon in Canterbury to watch it."
Composer James Pickering, who has lived in East Kent for the last six years, had previously worked on Henry Blake’s twice BAFTA nominated County Lines last year, said: "The exhibition has been so beautifully laid out I can’t wait to watch it on the big screen. Watching the edit, I became completely absorbed in the world of Alice and Wonderland."
"Tim had previously heard some of my music and was looking for an opportunity to get me on a project. He thought Alice would be just right for me.
"The longlist of tracks I put forward was based on those memories, feelings, which was an amalgamation of the books and the Disney film. I have since started reading through the two stories again. I’m finding it really inspiring to be reminded of the rebellious nature of Alice. She doesn’t take any nonsense from people in power and is quite happy to point out the logical fallacies in their thinking, even if this puts her in peril. This really comes through in the film and parallels it with the politics of the day."
And he'll also be heading to Curzon in Canterbury to watch it, or Ashford Picturehouse - or possibly both.
Produced by Trafalgar Releasing, the screenings of V&A presents Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser in Kent include Curzon, Canterbury, Odeon, Tunbridge Wells, Kino Rye, Kino Hawkhurst, Light Cinema Sittingbourne and Ashford Picturehouse. Full listings can be found here.