Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A film Craig Schwartz would've been proud of?

by Nick
Strings might be the greatest string-puppet film ever made. Whether you find this statement to be great or dubious praise pretty much decides if this is for you or not.

Of course, it's the Danes who are responsible. Again. (sigh) It's getting kind of sad.

Using Epic Fantasy Plot A1, Strings is the story of a prince who must journey to an enemy kingdom to avenge his fathers death. Yet back home treason is afoot as the King's brother makes ready to assassinate his nephew, marry away his sister and take the throne for himself.
And it's all done with string-puppets, and the occasional well-chosen cgi.

The film's stereotypical plot may be its greatest weakness, and its almost total lack of humor might not be to everyones taste. It ain't Team America, exactly.

But Strings is a film that is very much aware that it is a string-puppet movie, if that makes any sense, making its obvious weaknesses a strength. The clichéd plot allows it to focus on other aspects of the world itself. For the people in this world their strings are apparent and cherished, a tie to life, to destiny. And how do you kill a string-puppet? You cut off its strings, naturally!

At one point of the film I found myself grinning. There truly are new things to be seen in film.
Because most of all, Strings is just gorgeous to look at. Great care has gone into not only the puppets but their surroundings. A frozen battlefield riddled with wooden-soldiers and strings covered in snow is certainly one of the more unforgettable images I've seen in a film lately.

Anyway, Strings is a strange little film, but it has its charms. Fans of films like The Dark Crystal should take note. I actually prefer it to Dark Crystal. Hell, I prefer it to Team America. At least this film has a point.

Anders Rønnow (pronounced 'ruh-nov') Klarlund's upcoming film is a total 180 from this film, the very anticipated (even before I saw this one) How To Get Rid Of The Others. It's to be released 2007. Can't get done soon enough.


Blogger Chris said...

Hmmm, puppet films...Being John Malkovich, Team America (which was also very conscious of its strings), Meet The Feebles, Dark Crystal, Labrynth, and now Strings. I can't think of any more offhand.

That's a pretty great list of flicks, in my opinion, although I haven't seen Strings yet. It seems a puppet movie is a lot of trouble to make, and you wouldn't go through all that work to make a bad film. Trey Parker and Matt Stone said they never wanted to make another movie again after Team America.

3/14/2006 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

I think you'd dig the hell out of this one, Chris.

Somehow I always managed to miss Meet the Feebles. I even rented it, but things got confused and somehow my sister ended up watching it instead, and I wound up with Legally Blonde 2. I don't know who got damaged worst for life.

3/14/2006 05:20:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

well, I don't know your sister, but I would say she was. You can't just sneak a movie like Meet The Feebles onto someone, you have to be prepared for it.

If I remember correctly there is a scene where a walrus fucks a small rodent of some kind. As bad as Legally Blonde 2 could be, I doubt it has that.

3/15/2006 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

there is a scene where a walrus fucks a small rodent of some kind

That's it. I'm renting it again.

3/15/2006 01:57:00 PM  

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