Bohemian Alex Morrison has just finished directing his first feature length movie. In its previews, the movie is considered a critical...
Director, Nudity, Beach, Hollywood, Music
Satire, Showbiz Drama
Creative Block, Filmmaking
Humorous, Satirical, Stylized, Quirky
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10, 1, 2, 3
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Alex in Wonderland is a 1970 American comedy-drama film directed by Paul Mazursky, written with his partner Larry Tucker, starring Donald Sutherland and Ellen Burstyn. Sutherland plays Alex Morrison, a director agonizing over the choice of follow-up project after the success of his first feature film. The situation is similar to the one Mazursky found himself in following the success of Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969) and he casts himself in a role as a new-style Hollywood producer. His daughter Meg Mazursky appears as Amy, one of Morrison's daughters. Noted teacher of improvisational theater Viola Spolin plays Morrison's mother. The film also features cameo appearances by Federico Fellini and Jeanne Moreau, and seems to be inspired by their work. In particular, Fellini's 8½ (1963), about a film director who's artistically stuck, is referenced. Moreau sings two songs on the soundtrack, "Le Vrai Scandale" (for which she wrote the words) and "Le Reve Est La."
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Made on the heels of Paul Mazursky's Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, this cinematic experiment is one of the director's more personal films. With a big tip-'o-the-hat to Fellini's 8 1/2 (to make sure no one misses the references to the film, Federico Fellini appears in a cameo), Alex in Wonderland centers on a young director (Donald Sutherland) who feels compelled to follow his recent box-office hit with another blockbuster. While mulling over this dilemma, the director's mind wanders to his past, his present, and probable future. One of the film's memorable sequences involves a restaging of the Vietnam War in downtown Hollywood.
Bohemian Alex Morrison has just finished directing his first feature length movie. In its previews, the movie is considered a critical, artistic and surefire commercial success. As such, Alex seemingly has his choice of what his next project will be. Alex has a few thoughts in his mind, such as a biopic of Lenny Bruce, or a movie about a black uprising in Los Angeles. As he makes the rounds both in the Hollywood community and European movie centers for ideas, he fantasizes about movie scenarios of those everyday situations he is in. These fantasies are influenced by his movie idols, some who he meets such as Italian director Federico Fellini and French actress Jeanne Moreau. Concurrently, he is considering what to do about his personal life. He, his wife Beth and their two daughters live a middle class lifestyle. He is wondering whether it makes sense to "move up", which means that movie making not only has to achieve his main purpose of saying something meaningful, but also has to be commercially successful. That need for commercial success may ultimately take artistic control out of his hands.
- Written by Huggo
After his first film is a hit, a young director is caught in the classic bind between art and commerce--he wants to make a film that challenges the audience and makes them think, and the studio wants something simple that will make them a ton of money.
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