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Strings

4.5 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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, 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.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: James McAvoy, Catherine McCormack, Julian Glover, Derek Jacobi, Ian Hart
  • Directors: Anders Rønnow Klarlund
  • Writers: Anders Rønnow Klarlund, Naja Marie Aidt
  • Producers: Aage Aaberge, Axel Helgeland, Jan Blomgren, Kate Barry, Mike Downey
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Fox Lorber
  • DVD Release Date: August 16, 2005
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Domestic Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • International Shipping: This item can be shipped to over 75 destinations outside of the U.S. Learn More
  • ASIN: B0009Y260E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,815 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Strings" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By wiredweird HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 2, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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.

//wiredweird
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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...

...marionettes?

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.
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Format: DVD
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.
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Here's a perfect example of why genuine creativity & imagination far surpass bloated CGI effects that are momentarily spectacular but hopelessly empty. The unique fantasy world depicted in this stunning film is peopled by marionettes ... and the characters are well aware of their status: their entire way of life, as well as their life-death cycle itself, is built on this fact. The symbolic & psychological overtones are readily apparent, and are certainly fascinating to contemplate. But you'll want to wait until after the story is over to start thinking about those aspects, because the filmmakers deliver a darkly beautiful tale of betrayal, survival, magic & redemption that's gripping from start to finish. As previous reviewers have noted, much of this is familiar in a general way, from countless fairy tales, folk legends, and fantasy novels. But the visualization of it all, coupled with the downright theological considerations of the strings that give life to all -- where exactly do they go, far above the clouds? who, if anyone, is pulling them? -- places this film on another, more mysterious & compelling level entirely. Add to that the sometimes grotesque, sometimes delicate, always beautiful craft of the marionettes & their world, and you're in for a viewing experience quite unlike many, with a truly lovely final image -- most highly recommended!
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