Tuesday, April 5, 2016

859. Hsimeng Jensheng

Hsimeng Jensheng
The Puppetmaster
Directed by Hou Hsiao-Hsien

I told my sister I had to get off the phone last night so I could finish a two and a half hour Taiwanese biopic about the life of a puppeteer.  I don't think I inspired a lot of envy with that statement.

The film tells the story of Li Tian-lu who became a puppeteer during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan.  That's pretty much it.  The only slightly interesting/sleazy thing about the movie was that he took a mistress.

The historical context was somewhat intriguing, but the rest of this film was incredibly dull.  I have never really had even the slightest interest in puppets (I have an aversion to all things Muppets).  The puppet shows actually got on my nerves a lot because of the incessant gong hitting.  I suppose it was the only music they could provide but it got to be headache inducing.  Sorry puppet people.

Sorry for the short review, but this movie just didn't leave a lasting impression.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

The second film in Hou's historical trilogy.

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