Film: Puppet

Puppet follows Dan Hurlin’s multi-year effort to tell the story of Depression-era photographer Mike Disfarmer. In this film, we see three artists at work: the filmmaker (David Soll), Hurlin and Disfarmer. Write a comment to this post focusing on one visual aspect of the film and how it supports the intention of the artist. In short, how does form help communicate the message.

{ 03/22/2012    4 Week 5   

25 responses to “Film: Puppet”

  1. Andrew says:

    I think there’s an interesting interaction of non-actors here. It’s mentioned in the film that puppets (in the opinion of some) are able to convey a more convincing version of life and story than actors. Puppeteers make the case that because puppets don’t have an identity outside the show, because they really are the characters, the audience is given a more pure window into the personality represented by the puppet.

    A documentary film opens a similar window, I think. We see, more or less, the very real, present, and naked personalities of the subjects of the film. Through extremely personal interviews, shots of the puppeteers eating together, working together, and putting on a show together, the audience sees who they are. Like the puppets, These people don’t leave the stage and become another person.

  2. Claire says:

    When describing the type of photography Disfarmer worked with, someone (I don’t think it was Dan Hurlin?) said that “It doesn’t exist anymore. That America is pretty much gone.” I disagree with the complete extinction of anything, especially an era in America, that can still be discussed today. If I’m understanding it correctly I would agree more with another quote from the film that claims “the future has an ancient heart”. But it is no longer the presence of this pastime that speaks to us, but rather its pastness.

    In response to the Times article, one of the puppeteers said “It’s very difficult to know what you’re actually doing”. I like the idea that you do what feels right now, and reflect on it and make sense of it later. I see that as a common thread through the three documentaries so far– each revolves around a person doing what they love, with a focus on the process rather than reaching a specific end goal.

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