6.9/10
729
14 user 22 critic

Blood Tea and Red String (2006)

A handmade stop-motion fairy tale for adults that tells the tale of the struggle between the aristocratic White Mice and the rustic Creatures Who Dwell Under the Oak over the doll of their heart's desire.

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Animation | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin with a twist.

Director: Jirí Barta
Stars: Oldrich Kaiser, Jirí Lábus, Michal Pavlícek
Greedy Guts (2000)
Animation | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When a childless couple learn that they cannot have children, it causes great distress. To ease his wife's pain, the man finds a piece of root in the backyard and chops it and varnishes it into the shape of a child. However the woman takes the root as her baby and starts to pretend that it is real. When the root takes life they seem to have gained a child; but its appetite is much greater than a ... See full summary »

Director: Jan Svankmajer
Stars: Veronika Zilková, Jan Hartl, Jaroslava Kretschmerová
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

It's time for hockey! There's no telling what will happen when the Winnipeg Maroons' own star player Guy becomes embroiled in the twisted lives of Meta, a vengeful Chinoise, and her ... See full summary »

Director: Guy Maddin
Stars: Darcy Fehr, Melissa Dionisio, Amy Stewart
Alice (1988)
Animation | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A surrealistic revision of Alice in Wonderland.

Director: Jan Svankmajer
Stars: Kristýna Kohoutová, Camilla Power
My Winnipeg (2007)
Documentary | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Fact, fantasy and memory are woven seamlessly together in this portrait of film-maker Guy Maddin's home town of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Director: Guy Maddin
Stars: Darcy Fehr, Ann Savage, Louis Negin
Lesson Faust (1994)
Animation | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A very free adaptation of Marlowe's 'Doctor Faustus', Goethe's 'Faust' and various other treatments of the old legend of the man who sold his soul to the devil. Svankmajer's Faust is a ... See full summary »

Director: Jan Svankmajer
Stars: Petr Cepek, Jan Kraus, Vladimír Kudla
Animation | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A boy born the size of a small doll is kidnapped by a genetic lab and must find a way back to his father in this inventive adventure filmed using stop motion animation techniques. Tom meets... See full summary »

Director: Dave Borthwick
Stars: Nick Upton, Deborah Collard, Frank Passingham
The Shout (1978)
Horror | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A traveler by the name of Crossley forces himself upon a musician and his wife in a lonely part of Devon, and uses the aboriginal magic he has learned to displace his host.

Director: Jerzy Skolimowski
Stars: Alan Bates, Susannah York, John Hurt
Chronopolis (1982)
Animation | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Weary immortals inhabit a metropolis in the sky and amuse themselves with constructions as they kill time and await whatever comes next.

Director: Piotr Kamler
Stars: Michael Lonsdale
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A spell of time in the life of a family living in rural Tochigi prefecture, north of Tokyo. Though her husband is busy working at an office, Yoshiko is not an ordinary housewife, instead ... See full summary »

Director: Katsuhito Ishii
Stars: Maya Banno, Takahiro Satô, Tadanobu Asano
In My Skin (2002)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A woman grows increasingly fascinated with her body after suffering a disfiguring accident.

Director: Marina de Van
Stars: Marina de Van, Laurent Lucas, Léa Drucker
The Rose King (1986)
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: Werner Schroeter
Stars: Magdalena Montezuma, Mostefa Djadjam, Antonio Orlando
Edit

Storyline

Stop-motion fairy tale for adults. This dialogue free film tells the tale of the struggle between the aristocratic White Mice and the rustic Creatures Who Dwell Under the Oak over the doll of their heart's desire. The Mice commission the Oak Dwellers to create a beautiful doll for them. When she is complete, the Creatures fall in love with her and refuse to give her up. Resorting to thievery the Mice abscond with her in the middle of the night. Meet fantastical creatures and view dazzling scenery as the Creatures Who Dwell Under the Oak journey through this mystical land to reclaim their love. See the mice descend into debauchery as they become drunk on blood tea! See what happens when the Oak Dwellers eat the yellow fruit! Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Animation | Fantasy

Edit

Details

Official Sites:

|

Country:

Release Date:

4 October 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Vértea és vörös madzag  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Alice's Rosencrantz
25 December 2006 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

I saw this on Christmas Day and was rather thankful. 2006 has been a bad year for movies and at the end of each year I start to put together my additions to my short list of films everyone should watch before they die (if they want to be lucid in a film life).

Only two per year are allowed and I had none for 2006. I may put this on the list of what I call "Fours."

Its a short film that seems excruciatingly long. Its a flaw that I think starts to work for the thing after it has stopped working against it. The reason is a matter of pacing. Usually, we look to cinematic storytelling to be economical, like say it is in dreams. Something is shown only as it adds value, nothing is shown for mere completeness. We'd wonder about a filmmaker that shows us every act of the detective driving to an interview: opening and closing car doors, turning the key, fastening seat belt and so on.

In this movie, the filmmaker apparently hasn't mastered the notion of economy. If you have three mice and each is to eat three worms, prepare to see nine worms roasted, grabbed, chewed and swallowed. If you have three mice rescued from carnivorous plants, you'll have to see the entire rescue in detail three times. I suppose if you spend a month for a minute of film (what this works out to) you would be reluctant to cut. So your first impression is likely to be that there is no imposed rhythm, that the thing plods.

But it works for it, I think in an unintended way. The early Herzog had a trick: he would shift in and out of documentary mode with his camera. When in that mode, he would act like a newsman discovering and documenting something real. The camera would catch what it could and linger wherever it happened regardless of narrative necessity. It had the effect of making what we saw real. And of course it was: we saw a crazy man in a South American jungle doing crazy things that we knew were really done as we saw them.

But Herzog in those same films would insert formal shots. Stylized poses and action that reminded starkly that what we are seeing is something staged, artificial. Moving between these two modes is one of the most effective cinematic devices in the book, and that's what we have here. Some shots are so stylized, they're clichés: beings on a quest silhouetted by a setting sun. It works.

We also have what I call folding, tricks to place us in the thing. The story is a bunch of dolls placed to evoke emotional memories in us, and the story has them (those very dolls) obsessed with a doll. Also, if you know the history of fantasy well, you'll immediately recognize that this in an inverse Alice in Wonderland, instead of Alice imagining animals, they imagine her. More: there's a wonderful teaparty, card game which has many enticing elements, the one of note here is that they play with cards that have no faces. Later, the "story" is drawn on those faces.

Finally, we have a framing device. The story features an egg that appears down a stream, is placed in the doll, hatches and things happen. It is framed by the living doll pouring tea, placing an egg in the teapot (which in the story will come floating down a stream). At the end of the story, an object in a pouch is placed in the same stream by the mice and it appears in our living doll's teacup. A bit dear but clear.

And all of this before we get to the actual images. They are extremely effective. Absolutely, breathtakingly engaging. They are original, and sharp because of it. No, there's no Quay or Svankmejer in this. No, it's not dark in any respect. I've said before that to make interesting films you have to be an interesting person. Encountering this makes me think there is an interesting person in this woman, someone worth knowing, though I suspect unless you fully enter her world she will not touch you.

Back to the film, when you watch it, notice how she handles the psychedelic sequence. Its a well known problem in film: how do you show something that is by definition unshowable? How do you use vision to bend vision, the actual process of cognition? What she's done here is gentle, not wild. But it is effective and original. Barriers rather than colored lights. William Morris intercessions.

A final note. The sound. Its sparse, sharpedged, economical in ways the visuals aren't. An amazingly effective compliment.

It may be that this is an unrepeatable event, that we may not get another special thing from this woman. Or it may take too long, but let's hope not. In any case, she's in my life in a small way now, and may find her way into yours if you experience this.

Ted's Evaluation -- 4 of 3: Every cineliterate person should experience this.


25 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Does anyone know where I can watch this online? stillpals
Blood Tea and red strings xnilevaj
Discuss Blood Tea and Red String (2006) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page