Dear Alice by Sadie Allan


This film was produced solely by myself, Sadie Allan. The context of the narrative was triggered by the brief, “Work”, which I interpreted as a Sapphic period piece with a visually retrospective narrative. The main concepts I aimed to encode were the factors of society working against their love with the present meta-narrative of the Victorian age disregarding female sexuality or desire due to its patriarchal contexts. Important aspects of the narrative include the work the unnamed protagonist contributes in efforts to keep the memory of the pair’s love alive and the impracticality of their relationship ‘working’. Present enigmas include the destination of the letters, which I chose not to determine as to aid the enigma surrounding Alice’s fate and current status – is she alive? Has she been married off by her father? Did she choose to disregard her love for the main character? Was it a one sided love? My main inspirations for this film are a mix of personal historic routes and inspiration from literature. The film’s title and use of characters take muse from the 1836 Robert Browning poem “Porphyria’s Lover”, which inspired the stylistic choice use an unnamed first person narrator and instead refer to her only as the “Lover” of Alice, as her life is central to Alice’s existence and thus, their love. I took visual inspiration and setting from the Sarah Waters picaresque novel, “Tipping The Velvet”, which is a fictionalised creation of sapphic history and community within Victorian London when there was none of such recorded. Before creating this film, I wrote an in-depth analysis of “Tipping The Velvet”, with strong reference to Judith Butler’s gender theory throughout.