Intended as the concluding film in the trilogy on the modern history of Taiwan began with Beiqing Chengshi (1989), this film reveals the story through three levels: a film within a film as ... See full summary »
Ah-Ching and his friends have just finished school in their island fishing village, and now spend most of their time drinking and fighting. Three of them decide to go to the port city of ... See full summary »
In the first half of this century, young Li Tienlu joines a travelling puppet theatre and subsequently makes a career as one of Taiwan's leading puppeteers. During World War II the Japanese rulers of Taiwan use the traditional Chinese puppet theatre for their war propaganda. Only after the war street theatres start playing again.Written by
Otto Oberhauser <Oberhauser@cc.univie.ac.at>
Hsiao-Hsien Hou can be a mixed bag to me. Some of his films like "The Assassin" (2015) and "A City of Sadness" (1989) are some of my favorite movies. But others like "Flowers of Shanghai" and "Dust in the Wind" are too slow for me, and frankly, two movies I really don't get the praise for. And while yes, I enjoy slowly paced art films; some of his movies go too far in this department. However, if you asked me, I think "The Puppetmaster" is simply excellent. Telling the story of both this man, and the story of Taiwan, this film is just excellent in its portrayal of history.
Creating a strange meshing of styles; the movie shows its story by presenting the struggles of the main character during and after WWII, showing the troubles that Taiwan suffered during Japanese occupation. Intercutting itself with stylised dramatizations and interviews with the main character. The movie can be a little too slow in some areas, but I think the style works here, allowing itself to breathe and express itself.
"The Puppetmaster" is on the lengthy side at 2 hrs, 22 mins; however, it's worth the wait. It's comparable to Hou's better films, and just a spectacle of both great visuals and unique storytelling. I really enjoy this film.
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