The Friday Afternoon (Short) Movie: Jabberwocky

I will not, dear reader, attempt to convince you that I have any true comprehension of Jan ┼ávankmajer’s 1971 short film Jabberwocky, for that would most assuredly be a lie. Comprised of stop motion animation and featuring a reading of the titular poem found in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There, it is a film dense with seemingly impenetrable symbolism.

That poem is where the familiarity ends, the film beginning with a mysterious, moving wardrobe which opens to reveal a room that will change over the course of our journey, with the exception of the portrait of the severe, bearded man on the wall. There, we meet our hero, a child’s suit magically come to life. What follows is thirteen minutes of stop-motion insanity occasionally interrupted by the antics of a decidedly destructive black cat.

Ostensibly, Jabberwocky details the rebellion of a young man (the child’s suit) against authority or his father (the portrait) and, sure, that makes sense. What the intervening cascade of symbolism and weirdness actually means I cannot say. It is, however, certainly entertaining regardless.

3 Responses to “The Friday Afternoon (Short) Movie: Jabberwocky”

  1. maggie Says:

    I don’t much care for the cat in the tiny bird-cage at the end, apart from that: very weird and awesome. fills your head with ideas . . .

  2. Weetzie Says:

    It somewhat pales in comparison to his Alice in Wonderland… I still can’t look at socks the same way, nevermind taxidermied rabbits.

  3. Ross Rosenberg Says:

    Weetzie – No doubt his Alice is superior, especially in terms of levels of creepy, but I still enjoyed this one.