11 August 2005

Strings pulling crowds!

When I last mentioned the super marionette film 'Strings' in a previous report, the film had recently been released and was starting to make international impact. I'm hoping to see this on my travels very soon, as it has not yet been released in Australia. The opening credit sequence, where we see the hands of some of the 22 puppeteers who worked on the film manoeuvring their charges, makes it clear that this is not an animated film in the accepted sense of the word. We have a good crit by Josh Neuhouser:
When the opening credits for Strings list a credit for Master Puppeteer, my mind immediately went back to Being John Malkovich. Which, of course, is a perfectly natural thing to do: when the first scene shows a puppet king (both literally and figuratively) committing suicide in the rain to atone for his sins as a leader, this is exactly the kind of self-serious puppet epic that John Cusack's character always wanted to make. Though thankfully, despite it's heavy plot, laden with rape and genocide, Strings never forgets its inherent puppet-ness. In fact, that's it is its greatest strength, as the filmmakers often go out of their way to make this puppet world as unique as possible. Even little things, like how gates and jail cells consist only of raised bars that obstruct the movement of strings. Said strings, by the way, have a semi-religious importance to the marionettes - they seem to be representations of the connection of the soul to the infinite.These are the things that make Strings, since the plot really isn't much. Not bad, by any means, but fairly standard high fantasy. And like all high fantasy, it owes a large debt to Tolkein (specifically The Two Towers), but the film's visual world is unique enough to make up for anything lacking in the story department. I mean, I can't claim to be any kind of expert on puppetry, but I can still tell that claiming Strings contains some of the most complex marionette sequences ever filmed is an understatement, to say the least. Though I would have preferred a story as inventive as the visuals (the film falls just short of being a new Tetsuo the Iron Man), Strings is still highly enjoyable and I'd certainly look forward to watching it again if given the chance.
(by Josh Neuhouser in Seattle)
According to our Toronto correspondant, Andrew, the DVD is out next week. This is one I'd really like to get, even after only seeing the preview. To order click Amazon.
Watch the trailor here!

No comments: