Thursday, July 15, 2010



Overview from IMDB: Strings is a mythological story about the son of a king, Hal Tara, who sets out on a journey to revenge the death of his father. To his surprise he discovers the truth of his own people - and where he expects it least - he finds true love.

OK, so that's the very short version, but to really tell more gives way too much away.
I first saw "Strings" at the 2005 Puppeteers of America National Puppetry Festival in St. Paul, and I was amazed.
I was baffled that no America studio wanted to pick this film up for distribution in the US. And then the more I thought about I realized I was foolish for thinking any studio would want it. No major stars, no explosions, and 'shutter' it's puppets whose mouths don't even move! (Smell the sarcasm)

Anyway... We've all seen marionettes, whether it's Team America, Thunderbirds, or the amazing work of Bil Baird, but never have marionettes been used in film with this much strength. The story is more than solid, and in a classic fantasy film way. It's about redemption and peace, not just for one man, but for two waring societies. Legend says the director Anders Ronnow Klarlund got the idea for making the film after 9/11, and it shows in the story and execution.
The puppets by master Bernd Ogrodnik are simply amazing. They move so fluidly and smooth. Some have seen this film and thought it was computer animation. These marionettes move in a real fashion. There is weight when they walk, there is emotion in their movements. One of the great things about the film is that the strings themselves are part of the story. The strings are there, and without them they (the characters) die. I liked this, it gave the film another depth by acknowledging that they are puppets (even if the word is never used). And the materials used in making the marionettes are natural, which is fitting for the films world.

The film is dark, as the subject matter also is. And it's also very touching. It doesn't have a Hollywood ending. And I love it.
I know this has been a vague review, I just don't want to spoil the film for ya... So go out now and buy it!

5 Stars out of 5

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