MEMBERS-ONLY POTLUCK: Mad Tea Party (feat. 1966 "Alice", music by Ravi Shankar!)

NOTE: This event is a Cinefamily members-only potluck — but members are welcome to bring as many of their friends/family as they would like. As well, it is indeed a potluck dinner; things like bags of chips and drinks are not encouraged — please bring a dish. Impress us! And, if this sounds like the kind of event you want to have more of in your life — then consider getting a Cinefamily membership!

This very dream-like installment of the Cinema Potluck club is rife with Alice-themed shorts that will bonk your noggin and explode your diodes. After the cozy backyard patio dinner (complete with spiked tea and cool-as-a-cucumber sandwiches), you’ll thrill to some of the most impossible interpretations of Lewis Carroll’s classic fantasy tale, culminating in one of Cinefamily’s most favorite trips down the rabbit hole, the ultra-rare 1966 Alice BBC television adaptation (screened from an archival 35mm print!) Featuring one of the greatest ensemble casts in ‘60s British cinema, and boosted by a knockout original score by Ravi Shankar (composed at the height of his Western cultural discovery), the ’66 BBC Alice In Wonderland floats with all the lyserigcally sullen surrealism and Brechtian brattiness of its one-of-a-kind titular character interpretation. Here, our brave little girl is the equivalent of “Darlene” from Roseanne: impudent, irritable and ultimately disenchanted by her enchanted surroundings — as much as any real-life angsty fourteen-year-old would be. As well, this Wonderland eschews the standard SFX and costumes, instead casting its band of Carroll-ian crazies based upon their resemblances to the characters they’re portraying (Sir John Gielgud as the dignified Mock Turtle, and Peter Cook as the tea-drunk Mad Hatter, anyone?) Add to this some breathtakingly rustic B&W scenery, intense dream-freaky cinematography and, OH!, Peter Sellers — and you’ve got what’s possibly the single most stingingly satirical slice of Alice madness ever filmed.
Dir. Jonathan Miller, 1966, 35mm, 72 min. (Archival 35mm print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive)

Watch Cinefamily’s original trailer for the ’66 BBC “Alice In Wonderland”!