Eye On Design: Portrait Marionette of Craig Schwartz From Being John Malkovich

craig schwartz marionette photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail Worley

The movie Being John Malkovich (1999) is an absurdist and comic existential tale which revolves around issues of identity and bodily autonomy. In the film, which develops in New York City, actor John Cusack’s character, Craig Schwartz, is a puppeteer, who is at times played by a puppet, as puppets are often at the center of the narrative.

The incredibly intricate manipulation of the movie’s marionettes was done by Phillip Huber, who has had a long and well-regarded career. A keen observer of all things technical as related to marionettes, Huber has written about the different types of control mechanisms he has seen all over the world. The round-shaped control of this particular marionette (which was designed and built by Kamela Portuges) is innovative; it avoids the strings getting tangled, which is a common problem with traditional controls.

Watch a scene from the film that includes this Puppet below!

Photographed in the Museum of the City of New York as Part of the Exhibit, Puppets of New York, Which Runs Through April 3rd, 2022.

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