Puppets on Film
Puppets on Film
BAMcinématek and The Jim Henson Foundation present the third annual Puppets on Film festival, following the highly successful second edition last fall. This year, the three-day festival celebrates the universal, magical art of puppetry and the myriad ways in which the art form has been incorporated into live-action filmmaking. The lineup includes nine features, 30 shorts, special guests, a family workshop and live performance, and a Little Shop of Horrors sing-along extravaganza.
The series kicks off on Friday, October 25 with Frank Oz’s New York City-set Little Shop of Horrors: The Director’s Cut (1986), with Rick Moranis in person. Moranis stars as a geeky florist who discovers his precious plant Audrey II can talk and sing—but she also has an appetite for human blood. Puppet designer Lyle Conway produced six different versions of the rapidly growing, man-eating plant, with the final, monstrous creation weighing in at one ton and requiring 60 technicians (many Jim Henson Company veterans, including his son Brian) to operate it. The 8pm screening will be introduced by Moranis in a very rare public appearance and features an interactive, Rocky Horror-esque sing-along with a cast of actors (and the audience!) in costume, surprises, and of course, lots of singing.
On Saturday, October 26, Puppets on Film presents a special free screening of Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars (2004), directed by Brian Henson and presented by pivot. The epic finale to the cult television miniseries features alien warfare, a wormhole in space, and an earthling who tries to keep the alliances together. Henson will appear in person to introduce this screening as well as Walter Murch’s dark sequel to The Wizard of Oz, Return to Oz (1985—Oct 26), for which Henson performed the character Jack Pumpkinhead.
This year’s festival also features a variety of programs for kids, including puppet shorts programs, John Henderson’s Tales of the Riverbank (2008—Oct 26), featuring the voices of Jim Broadbent and Steve Coogan as river-dwelling rodents, and Jim Henson’s diamond heist mystery The Great Muppet Caper (1981—Oct 27), the only Muppet feature film directed by the creator himself. Muppet performer Peter Linz (Walter in 2011’s The Muppets) will introduce the screening.
Part of BAMcinématek’s bimonthly BAMkids Movie Matinee series, the Puppets on FilmShortstack! Kids Shorts Program (Oct 26) showcases 14 films for a younger crowd including two world premieres, two New York premieres, Sesame Street shorts, and a puppet adaptation of
Aesop’s classic The Country Mouse and the City Mouse. For audiences 11 and up, the Live Action Puppet Shorts program (Oct 27) reflects many different puppetry styles and boasts five world premieres, two US premieres, three New York premieres, music videos, a shadow puppet short, and FITZCARDBOARDALDO, an all-cardboard tribute to the 1981 Werner Herzog film.
Among the screenings on Saturday and Sunday are several exciting live performances and workshops for the whole family: a Shadow Puppet Workshop (Oct 26) in which children make their own creations with the help of master animator and puppeteer Laurie O’Brien, and Chinese Theatre Works’ Tiger Tales (Oct 27), a live performance celebrating the ancient art of shadow puppetry.
Puppets may be perennial children’s favorites, but they appear in a diverse range of films for adults, too. Among the screenings for older generations are two iconic monster movies: Ishirô Honda’s Godzilla (1954—Oct 27), brought to life by a stuntman in a suit (another form of puppetry), and James Cameron’s Oscar-nominated Aliens (1986—Oct 27), whose 14-foot alien queen was operated by 18 puppeteers and a series of hydraulics and cables. Creature effects coordinator Tom Woodruff Jr. will introduce the screening of Aliens.
Documentary highlights of Puppets on Film include the New York premieres of Frank H. Woodward’s Men in Suits (2012—Oct 27), about the actors behind characters like Godzilla and Predator, and Res Balzli’s Bouton (2011—Oct 26), about a Swiss puppeteer who confronts a severe illness with the help of her hand-made puppet.
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Puppets on Film
Event Category: Film / Cinema
When: October 25, 2013 ~ October 27, 2013
More Info: http://www.bam.org/programs/2013/bamcinematek