The illusion of life: puppetry and its use in the documentary genre

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Arts & Architecture


Sports and puppetry are two forms of entertainment that use nonverbal communication to capture our imagination, bring tears of sadness and joy, and have evolved alongside human culture for thousands of years. With the shifting attitudes among modern audiences towards documentaries claim to present truth, puppetry an artistic medium that celebrates the subjectivity of documentaries and provides a fresh way to engage with a film. In this paper, I examine two well-known examples of motion pictures that feature puppets: 'Creature Comforts' and 'Sesame Street'. Puppetry gives filmmakers a unique opportunity to illuminate complex subjects in an understandable way, harness and take advantage of the humor and subtext within a story, and is an innovated way to represent reality in the documentary genre. My film, 'The Power of Play', is meant to engage audiences through the playful presence of puppets, and highlight why humans love watching other people play to the degree sports fandom has become in modern times. Puppetry and sports seem to have always been part of human culture, so we should take the time to enjoy, understand and celebrate their unique power and presence in the world.


The power of play' is a film that is part of the student's thesis project.



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