Friday, May 04, 2012

1726 - Her Master's Voice

I was recommended to check this out from my good friends at The Mind Reels and they were dead right to recommend it to me.  I'm a puppet nerd a little bit.  And so Nina Conti's film was right up my alley.  She's a ventriloquist who is on the brink of wondering whether or not she should continue on with her art, if it's something that's sustainable for her.  It's a great question to pose at the beginning of the film about an artist.  Who doesn't wonder that, despite success or failure? 
But what I loved most is how she uses the puppet's in the film to constantly play devil's advocate with her.  On the verge of telling her former mentor/lover that she's going to give up she discovers that he's passed away and inherits all of his puppets as well.  And how she uses those to get at the heart of what she's feeling is really quite lovely.  It's fun and surprisingly light (in a good way) while at the same time really being the kind of film where the filmmaker lets it all out and exposes themselves in a way that is so amazingly endearing. 
It's too late to see it at HotDocs now, but you can still see it on the BBC if you live in that part of the world and I can only hope that it ends up on Netflix as well. 
If you love puppetry, or if you're an artist who ever considered packing it all in, there are few films that are as lovely as this to help get you through the rough patch.

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