Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: James McAvoy, Catherine McCormack, Julian Glover, Derek Jacobi, Ian Hart
Director: Anders Rønnow Klarlund
Genres: Action & Adventure, Art House & International, Drama, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Anime & Manga, Animation
Anders Rønnow Klarlund's stunning new film imagines a mythical kingdom populated entirely by stringed puppets. The Emperor of Hebalon dies a dramatic death, taking a terrible secret to the grave with him. His young son, ... more »
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Member Movie Reviews
Joseph M. (RoboticJoe) from TOLEDO, OH
Reviewed on 7/24/2010...
Probably one of the most interesting, creative stories and film i have ever seen. I diffidently recommend. ~ Joe
wiredweird | Earth, or somewhere nearby | 10/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I promise you, you have never seen anything like this.
The story is a very good fantasy, a young king coming of age among evil advisors. The presentation is marionettes, some of the most wonderful I've ever seen. Each one is beautifully crafted and articulated, and each is a distinct personality. The puppeteering is superb. The figures move beautifully well, even in unusual actions like swimming. They move well even when they close in with each other so much that their strings risk tangling.
What makes this movie unique is the puppets' awareness that they are puppets. The opening scene is a suicide in which one character cuts his own head-strings. Sword-fights center on cutting the other character's strings. Characters are fully aware that they are carved from wood, and subject to the kinds of decay that wood can experience. Even birth consists of a carved, wooden doll, brought to life when - well, you'll have to see for yourself. There's no need for suspension of disbelief, at least at this level: these puppets are clearly and consciously puppets.
All of which leaves a strangely involuted question of free will. The characters all act because of their own impulses, but move only when their strings move them. What connects that will to that motion? I wonder whether this is the sense that puppeteers sometimes get, when the painted wooden characters seem to develop personalities of their own.
There is nothing like "Strings." It's a kid-safe story, but you don't have be a kid to be fascinated.
Astonishing. Poetic. Moving.
M J Heilbron Jr. | Long Beach, CA United States | 01/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I guarantee you have never seen anything like this.
This is an epic fairy tale, with kings and princesses and swordfights and quests and romance and betrayal and death and...
Yup. The whole movie is acted by marionettes with limited facial movement, but seemingly infinite physical limitations.
I was startled by the opening sequence. An elderly king sits over his desk, in the rain, writing a suicide letter to his son. My first thought was that it was a bit over-dramatic to have "rain" on the inside of his castle, but I went with it. As I carefully followed along to his voice-over, about the two warring civilizations and the ability of his son to unify the country, I saw this king raise his sword over his head...
...and cut his head-string. Dead.
I sat goggle-eyed for the next 90 minutes, seeing things I really couldn't believe.
Beautiful shots of strings ascending to the heavens...(I thought, so THAT'S why it was raining indoors. There are no ceilings)...swordfights with warriors aiming for the strings...marionette SURGERY that was horrifying to me, a surgeon!
The plot in and of itself is a fairly standard one: nothing new if you've ever read a classic fairy tale or your basic Shakespeare.
But the addition of these...these "strings'...enables the filmmakers to comment on the nature of God, the connectivity between one another, the fragility of life...even the mischief between two children.
...the birth scene was surprisingly touching. As was a death scene involving a frail old man. The way they re-interpret life and death with "string" theory is simply beautiful.
There is imagination and creativity in this film at a level I don't think I've ever seen. We're talking Peter Jackson/Steven Spielberg-type cinematic creativity, but also with ingenious storytelling and astonishing visuals.
And as you'd expect, the technical puppetry here is beyond belief. The way they get the tilt of a head or a shrug of a shoulder just right. It's amazing. Couple with vocal work by Sir Derek Jacobi, Catherine McCormack and others, you soon stop noticing that the marionettes' mouths do not move. You get THAT carried away with this.
The final scene was poetic in its' simplicity and beauty.
Please check out this movie. It will be SO worth your time."
Very Unique and Beautiful Movie
Amy E. Strickland | Orlando, FL USA | 08/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It was my privilege to see this movie at this year's National Puppetry Festival in Saint Paul, MN. Being a marionette puppeteer myself, the movement that these puppets were able to accomplish astonished me. It is very apparent that Bernd Ogrodnik and the other skilled puppeteers on this movie were extremely passionate about their work. I also found the symbolism and the story interesting, as well. I don't recommend this movie for children, however...it was definitely created for adults. If you are a marionette enthusiast or you're looking for an escape from the usual boring movie experience, watch this movie. It is well worth it."