Therapy

Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland: She’s “Bonkers”

 “Bonkers”

  

By Anneli Rufus

Mar 4 2010  – Early in Tim Burton’s new film Alice in Wonderland, six-year-old Alice’s father tells her in no uncertain terms: “You’re mad, bonkers … but I’ll tell you a secret: All the best people are.” The narrative then promptly fast-forwards thirteen years into Alice’s life, at which point she’s lithe, gorgeous, and revisiting the creepy world she first roamed as a child down the rabbit hole — only now it’s even creepier. Ingenue Alice confronts the Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat, and other classic characters, asserting her self-possession again and again amidst their weirdness.

But that early line lingers. Its presence at the start of a trendy new film by a cult-favorite filmmaker;
It could be the motto of a new mental-illness pride movement.

“Bonkers”

By Anneli Rufus
Mar 4 2010

 

Early in Tim Burton’s new film Alice in Wonderland, six-year-old Alice’s father tells her in no uncertain terms: “You’re mad, bonkers … but I’ll tell you a secret: All the best people are.” The narrative then promptly fast-forwards thirteen years into Alice’s life, at which point she’s lithe, gorgeous, and revisiting the creepy world she first roamed as a child down the rabbit hole — only now it’s even creepier. Ingenue Alice confronts the Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat, and other classic characters, asserting her self-possession again and again amidst their weirdness. But that early line lingers.

Its presence at the start of a trendy new film by a cult-favorite filmmaker; It could be the motto of a new mental-illness pride movement.

Burton’s partner Helena Bonham-Carter, the talented actress who appears in Alice as she has in five of his previous films, invoked various mental-health issues in a sometimes startlingly lighthearted tone during a recent interview for the Guardian. Early in the interview, Bonham-Carter describes herself and Burton as “the bonkers couple,” which I guess is a boast. Showing the Guardian reporter a cardboard replica of the Red Queen character she plays in the film, Bonham-Carter quips:

“She’s got Tourette’s. She just says, ‘Off with their heads!’ all the time.”

When the Guardian reporter notes that in earlier interviews, Bonham-Carter has opined that Burton is autistic, the actress muses:

“All the auties love [Burton’s film] Nightmare Before Christmas.”

When the reporter registers surprise, Bonham-Carter apologises, explaining that in the 2005 TV movie Magnificent 7, “I played Jacqui Jackson, a single mum with children on the autistic spectrum, and I feel partly it’s OK to talk like that because I know her, know that world, and she calls them auties.”

When the topic returns to Bonham-Carter and Burton, she asserts: “I don’t think we’re crazy at all, to be honest.”

 

Links:
[1] http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2010/feb/06/helena-bonham-carter-interview

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