Wednesday, May 20, 2009

2010: The Year of Lewis Carroll

Oh my goodness. I don't think that any movie except for Sophia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette" has much influenced fashion and design lately. But, in 2010, this is very likely to change. You see, 2010 is the release year for Tim Burton's mostly-live-actor remake of "Alice in Wonderland" and Marilyn Manson's "Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll." No, read that again. Yes, Marilyn Manson.

It may surprise you that Marilyn Manson is venturing into film, but he has long expressed a desire to explore film and art forms other than just music. "Art?!" you scoff, "Marilyn Manson doesn't make art!" Well, call it what you will, but whatever it is, he has done it unabashedly (but if he ever tries to cover Gary Numan's "Down in the Park" again...).

And, I have incredibly high hopes for his upcoming film, which is a deeper look into the man behind Alice in Wonderland, a man which Manson describes as being of "a split personality--a person who was deaf in his right ear and left-handed. He was a mathematician and an artist, a deacon in a church who believed in evolution."

The story that Manson is choosing to tell in his film follows Lewis Carroll, whose real name was Charles Dodgson, as he unfolds his novel and is haunted by his creations. Manson relates to Carroll in a way, which is why he has chosen him as the center of his movie. Explains Manson, both he and Carroll are "odd," creating mostly at night, and have changed their names in an attempt to reinvent themselves--or hide from past demons.

Manson's film is an attempt to bring back Alfred Hitchcock-style horror, something I am incredibly grateful for. I cannot stand blood, gore, and the meaninglessness of current horror films. Says Manson, "Sometimes what you don’t see is scarier." He also mentions that he would like to skip the computer-animated effects altogether, instead opting for a magician alone.

The premise of the movie, then, is Lewis Carroll, played by Marilyn Manson himself, haunted by his creations. It also includes someone whom I'm very excited about (and is basically the reason I needed to write this post)--Lily Cole as Alice! I'm not sure why, but ever since I saw her in a Vogue-produced magazine called Fashion Rocks about three years ago, alongside Marilyn Manson, I have been intrigued. In the spread with Marilyn Manson, she rocks a kind of goth/punk vibe, which I enjoy immensely. She has a lovely, doll-like face, but something darker there too. I find it to be kind of a welcome departure from the almost too light and cheerful trend recently. Don't get me wrong--I love ditsy flower prints as much as you, but I enjoy diversity and dark mystery, cozy comfort, too. Oh! It also has another light-and-dark girl, this one a past girlfriend of Manson, Evan Rachel Wood. She plays Alice's alter ego. I'm beginning to think Manson should just go the whole nine yards and stick another of his past muses in his movie--Fiona Apple.

The soundtrack will likely be original music by Manson that was "too theatrical" to be placed on any of his albums, and also probably the song "In Every Dream Home a Heartache" by Roxy Music. Umm. Should be interesting.

Will Manson go completely over-the-top with this? Of course. It may be altogether unpleasant to watch. But at least it will be an attempt at innovation, and hey, it will have Lily Cole in it. It doesn't particularly get better than that.

The other Lewis Carroll movie, for which my excitement pales in comparison to "Phantasmagoria," is Tim Burton's remake of "Alice in Wonderland." Burton has once again cast his crew of regulars, including Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter and Burton's wife Helena Bonham Carter as The Red Queen. Also a return from Alan Rickman (as the Caterpillar, how great!), who is just generally an enjoyable actor. Nothing impressive of his casting of Anne Hathaway as the White Queen. I don't think I've ever seen her in an enjoyable movie. But, I am excited about Stephen Fry as the Chesire Cat! Oh my goodness! He was so great in "V for Vendetta." There are several other noteable actors and actresses, but that is what the IMDB page is for.

So who is Alice? It is Mia Wasikowska, whom I've never heard of, but that just makes her all the more interesting. She beat out Lyndsay Lohan and Amanda Seyfried, both of "Mean Girls" fame, for the role. I would kind of have liked to see Lindsay Lohan, but it's just because of my potentially unhealthy love of redheads.

This film is Burton's remake of sorts of Disney's 1951 film. However, this is essentially a new story, more focused on Alice's return to Wonderland several years later. She finds it rather overgrown and perhaps a bit haunted, but very colourful still. She escapes from Victorian society, where she finds she doesn't exactly fit in, to visit Wonderland. It perhaps will be an interesting take.

Really, it's likely that neither movie will be exactly what we want as far as plot goes (much like "Marie Antoinette")...but, they will likely be a lovely montage of decorating ideas, if nothing else. And, I am still unabashedly excited for "Phantasmagoria." For sure.

What are your preliminary thoughts on these films? And who are your favourite light-and-dark girls (and, for goodness sake, suggest a different name for such girls, haha!)?

(Images of Lily Cole and Marilyn Manson from Fashion Rocks magazine; other two are Google images, hooray!)


jen laceda said...

Oh god, I can't wait to watch it!

Geisslein said...

I would love to watch it too! In some way I like Marylin Manson...and I really don´t know why...but I do!

Stacy said...

I love Lily's red hair!

Lauren K said...

Now you've got me all excited!

Fine Little Day said...

Looking forward to see it!

Leigh said...

This certainly looks like quite a movie event!