Throughout August, metro Detroiters will have a chance to see a range of free and pay-what-you-can puppet-centric films each balmy Friday night of the month. A collaboration between Cinema Lamont and Detroit Puppet Company featuring an eclectic suite of works, each entry in the series will screen at 8:45 p.m. at the Detroit Puppet Company’s amphitheater at 2221 Carpenter Ave. on the Detroit-Hamtramck border (save for an afternoon showing of The Adventures of Prince Achhmed on Saturday, Aug. 13 and a live-streamed performance of Tom Lee’s The Great Zodiac Animal Race on Saturday, Aug. 27, both at the Detroit Film Theatre).
The showings span nearly a century of work, from 1926’s silent The Adventures of Prince Achhmed, rendered by Lotte Reininger in elaborate paper cut-outs, to 2021’s The Plastic Bag Store, a musing look from just last year about how our descendants might regard the mess we leave behind. Across these works — as often with the craft of puppeteering — both the material nature and visible labor behind each film color what’s expressed onscreen. In each, whether they’re hybrid works (as with Faust) or immersive stop-motion ones, key physical features of the films’ respective worlds are built from the ground up, allowing for the presentation of a distinct aesthetic world in each.
For more on these films, read the original articles written by George Elkind of the Metro Times