Unreal photo of two men playing checkers on a huge pile of books

Movie still from the “Alice” TV mini-series, SyFy, 2009

I hate sharing images without attribution. Just like with the photo of a woman with a giant book, I was determined to find a source of this breathtaking image of two men playing checkers on a massive pile of books. 

The image looks like it was created by artificial intelligence, specifically by Midjourney. But it was not. Humans have created it. And it’s not a digital art.

When you use Google image search, top results suggest that the image is related or inspired by The Cemetery of Forgotten Books book series by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. No, it’s not.

When you dig deeper in the past, you can find out that the image was shared for the first time on January 28, 2011, on a Tumblr blog that deals with all things related to movies. The caption says “Alice,” and links to the Alice TV mini series page on IMDb.

Alice, starring Kathy Bates and Tim Curry, is a two-episode mini-series created by Nick Willing and produced by SyFy. It was aired for the first time in December 2009.

💬 Revisiting Wonderland 150 years after the original. A modern Alice joins a resistance force to take on a corrupt organisation that harvests people’s emotions.

Was the image really a still from the TV series? What about proportions and orientation? I had to dig further.

I used Bing image search to discover the same image with an on-image captions that says “Movie still from the mini-series ALICE 2009 © SyFy”.

The image linked to the Pinterest pin that linked directly to the SyFy’s home page.

Mystery solved! This unearthly, magical image was not created by artificial intelligence in 2023, but by filmmakers in 2009!

The next time you share the image with your friends and followers, make sure to attribute it by adding something like “Movie still from the Alice TV mini-series, SyFy, 2009”.

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