Fires are burning bright, dogs are barking, and armies are marching, ravishing the land with one end goal: to eliminate what they fear, the wooden robot named Arti-C. One old man has found the source of life in an object called “The Origin,” which gives Arti-C move-ability and functionality. He is not just your traditional wooden puppet but a real fighting machine. Having given his life for this machine, father passes the gift on to his son Mo. Aided by his cocky sister Tong, they search for the legendary city of Loulan, in hope of finding the source of The Origin. A mysterious tribe fighting the royal family and our hero’s create the perfect threesome of conflict.
The last time I saw a puppet movie was way back, with Team America… but this here is on a whole new level. Glove-puppet is an old Chinese tradition that’s apparently well conceived in Taiwan. The team that went behind Arti is incredible. The film is worth watching until the very end, and you should watch the credits roll as they show you how they go about creating every image you see on screen.
The puppets are well crafted and the outfits they bear are simply stunning. From the fabric weaves to the scenes and era which they represent, it all makes for a beautiful and fantastic fantasy, reminding me of Yoshitaka Amano’s art style. You would think that the idea of puppets on screen would limit movements or even the possible turn of events. But everything is pushed to extremes with Arti, with fights choreographed as well as the Colosseum fights and armies facing each other. Not only that but cities of such magnitude and a subterranean forest! This has all the right elements to a great Fantasy film. And we are not disappointed!
You can find more information about the film on the website of the Fantasia International Film Festival