Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll: Wikis


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Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll is an upcoming fantasy horror film by Marilyn Manson with Geoffrey Cox and Anthony de Silva. It is directed by Marilyn Manson as part of his Celebritarian Corporation art movement, and is his directorial debut as a feature filmmaker. It is being produced by Blue Light for Wild Bunch and has estimated budget of $4,200,000. In the leading roles are Marilyn Manson as Lewis Carroll, English model Lily Cole as Alice, Golden Globe-nominated actress Evan Rachel Wood as Alice's alter ego and Academy Award-winning British actress Tilda Swinton as Lewis Carroll's dream wife.




Victorian England.

A haunted writer in an isolated castle is tormented by sleepless nights and visions of a girl named Alice. He finds himself becoming a symptom of his own invention.

“Now all my nightmares know my name.”

He is Lewis Carroll. Terrified of what waits for him each night.[1]



Crew (in alphabetical order)



The script for the film has been completed as of December 2005.

As of December 2007, much of the design is finished and the film has a distributor.

Marilyn Manson:

It was meant to have been filmed earlier but 'Eat Me, Drink Me' became something that was absolutely my first priority. Now the movie will be delayed even more because of the ongoing scriptwriters strike in Hollywood which is affecting all present productions. I'll try and restart it at the beginning of next year.[2]
Coming out with this tour and when I finish this and I go and make my movie, its going to make for a better movie because I feel stronger physically, mentally, focused, more confident. I've got more Ideas. I got time to step away from the script, and still I love it and I can't wait to do it. It's even in a greater place now because, asides from the writers strike, that works out with the tour so, it looks like we are going to do it, I wont say when because movies are very unpredictable they get moved around, but when the tour's done, May, June, I don't know, but in Europe, Prague, most of it in Prague, maybe some of it in Romania. Wild Bunch is so supportive and have always believed in me, they want me to have everything I need to make the best movie I can make, and I feel like I can make the movie now so I am excited to do it.[3]
I just got an updated script today [20 October 2008]. I don’t know what the status is... I think that timing has always been a problem with it, because I wanted to do a record when it was time [to do the film]. For us, we’re real focused on making our new record, because we’re almost done.[4]

Presentation of Lewis Carroll's character

Marilyn Manson:

I want to take the children's story that we all know, and discover the horrifying roots that grow beneath every one of its childish metaphors. The characters may be absurd and wrapped in puzzles, but the author himself is the story that I find painfully close to me. Lewis Carroll is far more complex than the world's narrow perception of him as a quiet deacon, a mathematician and a loner, simply obsessed with photographing young girls. He was possibly one of the most divided souls living in his own hell that the world has overlooked.[1]
It's about Lewis Carroll and how he became a persona much more bizarre and elaborate than Marilyn Manson. Charles Dodgson was his real name, and he was a person who had a tortured inability to find love and to find happiness in his life, and his story is one of great depression. It's one of a split personality - a person who was deaf in his right ear and left-handed. He was a mathematician and an artist, a deacon in a church who believed in evolution.[5]
I felt like there were a lot of things about his personality that were like mine. His creativity thrived mostly at night. He was a very odd person. In the past year, just putting together the script, I think I've adopted a lot of his personality, whether for better or for worse. I discovered that Charles Dodgson, who called himself Lewis Carroll, was more of a creation than his stories were. He was very much a Jekyll and Hyde story, and the more I looked into it, the more (I realized) this was a ghost story, really. He was haunted by his own demons and had a split personality in a lot of ways. He couldn't find happiness; he couldn't find a family. He didn't sleep. I think that he was seeing things. You start seeing things differently, stuff that normal people don't see - stuff that I have seen now and again. I think I was able to relate to that and to want to put it on the screen.[6]

Redefinition of horror genre

Marilyn Manson has stated his aim for the project is to “redefine the horror genre” and bring it back to the days of Roman Polanski, Ingmar Bergman and Alfred Hitchcock. “It‘s kind of a return to Hitchcock-style psychological horror about letting your mind do the damage and sometimes what you don’t see is scarier." "I wouldn't say it will be like a modern horror film. It wouldn't be like what people are used to seeing today. But I think by being traditional, sometimes like a Hitchcock, it's almost modern, because people are so used to seeing special effects. I have a magician that I've hired to do my special effects. I don't want any CGI. I want only in-camera, so I have a magician who's my special-effects man. I just want to be unconventional by being traditional."[7]

Marilyn Manson has stated that Phantasmagoria will be "something people haven't seen before[6] and will be filmed in a way no one has done yet. “I have a camera that I’ll be the first person to use in cinema, and I‘m very excited about it. It’s very unique."[6] Fellow friend and filmmaker James Cameron has supplied his Reality Camera System technology for Manson to film.

He has suggested the use of subliminal elements to enhance feeling, but also says he may go further. “I‘m going to do a lot of things that may end up being illegal. Until they are, I will do them. I think it will change people’s opinion about horror films and they will realize they’re not all about slasher”. “I might add that the girls playing Tweedledum and Tweedledee are twins who get to have real, genuine sex with each other. I like to make dreams come true”. [8]

The film has also been linked with other projects such as Alejandro Jodorowsky’s King Shot and an as yet untitled film with Tilda Swinton.


Currently the production on Phantasmagoria is postponed and shooting is set to begin after the completion of Marilyn Manson's seventh studio album, The High End of Low.[4]


It was originally believed that Manson was filming in Ireland and Sintra in Portugal as a possible location. Marilyn Manson explains that it "is a very powerfully magical, strange place. It was my first choice for location to shoot my film Phantasmagoria...". Recently, on the January 14, 2008 radio show of Loveline with Dr. Drew and Stryker, Manson states that although unsure of where he will be filming, it will more than likely be Romania.


Marilyn Manson has mentioned that so far the music has been based around some of the score Chris Vrenna originally created for American McGee's Alice (incidentally, Manson himself was originally supposed to work on the "McGee" soundtrack[9]). He intends to be working with Twiggy Ramirez, Tim Skold, Rob Holliday and Ginger Fish on the original soundtrack and previously unreleased Marilyn Manson's songs but has added that he doesn't want to over extend himself as he has other responsibilities, i.e. acting and directing. Madonna Wayne Gacy possibly contributed prior to leaving Marilyn Manson.

It's interesting that we can create scenes around the mood of certain songs. It's working in a different way than you normally would with film. I just started making music that ended up not fitting anywhere on any of the Marilyn Manson albums over the years, and I kind of collected it together. It's much more cinematic.[6]

Marilyn Manson does mention the possibility of there being at least one unoriginal song used in one of his films: "There's a song that's a huge influence on the way the movie ends called 'In Every Dream Home a Heartache' by Roxy Music, and it very well might make its way into a film, which would be very odd because it's a '70s song in a 19th century film". [10]


At a press conference for the film at Berlinale 2006 Marilyn Manson and Lily Cole showed a five-minute trailer, poster and still photos by Steven Klein to around sixty journalists which was generally well-received.


The film will reportedly be made available through Marilyn Manson's official website though he has also stated that the film's first release will be "very unconventional".

Marilyn Manson has also made many references to how his website will change in the future, stating that the website is very video-extensive and "has been created to be a place where you can see even more than what is in the film, whether it will be viewed as trailers or teasers, or further elements that aren't necessary to support the film. If you enjoy the film, there's a wealth of knowledge there to dig deeper".


  • The title is taken from a famous and hard to find collection of Lewis Carroll's poems originally published as "Rhyme? and Reason?" but titled "Phantasmagoria" in later editions. Twin Engine Publishing HB, Wildside Press Books and Prometheus Books are some of the few contemporary publishers of the book.
  • Phantasmagoria is also the name for live horror shows involving projection onto smoke screens that were invented in the 18th century France.
  • The tagline is taken from The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (1799), from Caprichos, by Francisco Goya.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Phantasmagoria section on Official Wild Bunch Website; last accessed February 3 2008.
  2. (Spanish) Saavedra, David. Marilyn Manson: "Puedo vivir como quiera en mi mundo de vanidad", El Mundo, 16 November 2007 at; last accessed February 3 2008.
  3. Everyone Will Suffer Now, The Heirophant, 12 January 2008 at; last accessed February 3 2008.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Wax, Alyse. Marilyn Manson Freaks Us Out at the Scream Awards, FEARnet, 20 October 2008 at; last accessed 22 October 2008.
  5. Harris, Chris. Marilyn Manson Won't Let Scary Michael Chiklis Stop His Scary Films, MTV, 04 November 2005 at; last accessed February 3 2008.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Harris, Chris. Marilyn Manson Finds Creepy Soul Mate In "Wonderland" Author, MTV, 15 February 2006 at; last accessed February 3 2008.
  7. Carroll, Larry. Marilyn Manson's Film: Who Needs Special Effects When You Can Hire A Magician?, MTV, 30 June 2006 at; last accessed February 3 2008.
  8. Scaggs, Austin. Manson Making Movies, Rolling Stone, 15 July 2005 at; last accessed February 3 2008.
  9. The Heirophant - Dramatic New Scenes for Celebritarian Needs
  10. Dramatic New Scenes for Celebritarian Needs, The Heirophant, 3 November 2005 at; last accessed 20 March 2008.

See also

External links

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