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 »Hal Tara, is set to take over the throne, however, his uncle leads him to believe his father was murdered by the Zeriths, their sworn enemy. Forced to set out to avenge his father's death, Hal is unaware of the perils he is facing, both inside his kingdom and out. As he faces new challenges on this journey, he ends up discovering the truth about his own people - and where he least expects it - he finds true love. A dramatic tale of adventure, bondage and liberation; of love and war, destiny and vitality, identity and common humanity, Strings is a magical blend of themes that range from Shakespeare to Star Wars to The Lord of the Rings.« less
Was expecting some sort of Gerry Anderson puppet vision and ended up being amazed by this production. This is storytelling on an epic scale, donned with thespian voices from the RSC. The puppeteering is some of the most nimble I've ever witnessed. The tale itself seems an effective blend of multiple genres and starts off with the King committing suicide. And from there, you are inexplicably drawn in. These puppets know they are puppets too, and have their own highly developed mythology. If you're in the mood for something really creative, give this a try!
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."
Strings you along nicely......
Boggman! | Laguna Hills, CA | 08/31/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Strings" is quite a unique and intersting movie going experience. This just happens to be one of those movies I had never heard of before that I ran across doing research, and decided to give it a shot. My biggest problem with "Strings" is that the puppets do not move their mouths, which made it a little hard to follow the dialogue as it switched back and forth between characters. Once your able to get past that - this is really a beautiful little film.
A little over-dramatic but with some pretty high production values, "Strings" is unlike no movie you have seen before. The cinematography, voice overs, and set designs are well done and very pleasing to watch and to listen to all throughout.
One thing I enjoyed about "Strings" was the how the actual strings were incorporated in the movie. There is no effort to hide them. In fact, the strings themselves are part of each characters actual being, reaching all the way up in to the sky with the "head" string being the strongest and most valuable. Cut the head string, and your dead! Get a little to playful, and you might get tangled and need some help getting undone! Interesting little concept.
Strings is a fantasy story about a King who commits suicide, leaving the throne to his son. When his son is lead to believe by his evil uncle that some outside rebels are responsible for his death, he seeks out to find them and avenge his father. In the process he goes on a magical journey, learning about life, love, war, and the fact that people and things aren't always quite what they seem.
"Strings" is a film that stands on its own two feet- apart from anything else out there. All in all, it's a very impressive piece of work- and a good family oriented film.
A tale for the ages
C. Lewis | Bozeman, MT | 10/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Strings is the height of creativity. The movie is visually stunning and beautifully made. It's not just for marionette enthusiasts but is truly enjoyable for everyone!"