March Hares and Easter Bunnies

We pay homage to Lewis Carroll’s fantastical creations and their more benign bunny brethren.

The new BFI National Archive restoration of Cecil Hepworth and Percy Stow’s 1903 version of Alice in Wonderland – cinema’s first trip down the rabbit hole – makes its debut in the Mediatheque, while Alice’s creator is profiled in 1998 Omnibus documentary Curiouser and Curiouser: Lewis Carroll 1898-1998. Though the cuter and fluffier members of the bunny family are here, sensitive viewers be warned that, like Carroll’s work, this collection has its darker moments. Some of our less fortunate furry friends are destined for Rabbit Pies (1934), while others star in a forgotten precursor to the survival-horror genre, Once We Were Four (1942). Meanwhile, seminal animated feature Watership Down (1978) is on hand to delight (and possibly traumatise) a new generation.

Five to Try

Kiddies and Rabbits (1901)

Well-fed Victorian toddlers have fun with some bunnies.

Elsie and the Brown Bunny (1921)

Not a prequel to Vincent Gallo’s notorious road movie, but an early Cadbury ad, playing like a surreal outtake from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Stille Nacht II: Are We Still Married? (1992)

Echoes of Alice in the Brothers Quay’s eerie stop-motion music video for US group His Name is Alive.

A Bunny Girl’s Tale (1998)

Meet the women who went to work dressed as rabbits in Hugh Hefner’s fluffy-tailed fantasy world. Featuring PJ Harvey.

Rabbit (2005)

Run Wrake’s inspired and gloriously twisted animation.

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