Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Madame Tutli-Putli (2007)

There’s a certain amount of symbolism that most people can handle.  Sometimes, you get it right away.  Other times, it may take a week or two.  Then, there are some things that, even when explained, don’t really make sense.  Madame Tutli-Putli tends towards that last group.

The movie starts with a woman waiting to board a train.  She has a lot of luggage, which the train is apparently willing to take.  She’s stuck with an oddball group of people, including an offensive man who seems interested in her.  The lady tries to ignore the others, hoping ot be left alone.  While they’re asleep, someone comes into the compartment and takes the internal organs of one of her fellow travelers.  She escapes from the room, but has difficulty running away.

The running time is only 17 minutes and was included on a DVD of 2007 Oscar-nominated short films.  I’m still not entirely certain what to make of it.  I did try to look up explanations of what it means and there are a few that at least make sense.

It’s made a little more confusing by the fact that it starts out somewhat normal.  It looks like it could be on any train anywhere.  There’s no dialogue to give any hint of what’s going on.  We never learn why Madame Tutli-Putli has all that luggage.  Is she moving?  Is it to symbolize emotional baggage?  Maybe she’s smuggling luggage.  I’ll never know.

From a technical standpoint, it’s a great short.  The stop motion seems flawless.  My one complaint is the eyes, which were actually filmed and superimposed on the figures.  It looks kind of creepy.  Imagine having a doll with realistic eyes.  It does give a high level of expressiveness, but I think it would freak out most people.

This short is not going to be for most people.  I think if you were confused by the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey, you’re probably going to be confused by this one.  It’s not for anyone who likes a simple, straightforward plot.  I don’t know if it was meant to be obscure, but it does come off that way.

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