I busied myself for as long as possible yesterday. Until the rains came. Then I changed out of my work clothes and set off for Mandeville Gardens, where I purchased a scented daphne and an azalea that did the same.
On the way home I stopped at Metrotown, to look at hats.
As usual I got lost, and in trying to find my way out found myself in an HMV. There, in the new releases section, Jonathan Miller’s 1966 BBC production of Alice In Wonderland, a film that has haunted me since childhood, one I was sure I would never see again.
I cannot begin to describe what it was like watching a film that had such a profound effect on me. As soon as Anne-Marie Mallik’s face came on screen, I was transported back to my babushka’s Los Angeles apartment, sitting on her huge silk pillows, her equally huge television glowing before me.
“Who are you? Come on, don’t just stand there -- who are you?”
“I’m afraid I don’t know just at the moment. I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I have changed several times since then.”
And so it went.
Unlike a lot of films these days, especially those with psychedelically available content, Miller’s Alice is more costumes than sets, more acting than CGI. As for Mallik’s performance, she is Bartleby. When she says she does not know who she is, you believe her, and that allows for so much more.