Alice; the early years

Watching Mark Cousins’s Story of Film has made me want to watch some of the very earliest films ever made out of sheer curiosity. Alice in Wonderland is a 1903 British silent film directed by Cecil Hepworth and Percy Stow. It’s only ten minutes or so long and available to watch in its entirety on YouTube (link below). Apparently the original print is badly damaged but the British Film Institute has restored it recently.

I haven’t watched many silent films in the past as I’ve tended to find them heavy going but this film is absolutely amazing. The visual effects are so inventive and ahead of their time. For me what is so fascinating is seeing people moving about on screen just as they were over a century ago! There is a baby in one scene and it’s incredible to think that since then she has grown up, grown old and died yet here she is, tiny and full of life, preserved on film forever.

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