A giant girl
June 25, 2006 5:14 PM   Subscribe

How about a 35 foot tall girl, out for a walk with a few of her friends? This one definitely is walking in the uncanny valley as far as I'm concerned. Is this the record for "world's largest marionette"?
posted by Steven C. Den Beste (59 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Even though I can see the joints and the cables and the crane that's holding her up, and even though I know that no human can be that big, my mind still wants to see a real girl there. It's because we're wired to try to see human faces and human figures in things that aren't really human.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 5:17 PM on June 25, 2006


I think this has been here before, but it's just as freaky now as it was then. Hadn't seen the tounge bit--adds a whole new level of creepy!
posted by schroedinger at 5:17 PM on June 25, 2006


What's with the sunken in looking cheeks?
posted by delmoi at 5:20 PM on June 25, 2006


Oh they're strechy fan type things.
posted by delmoi at 5:21 PM on June 25, 2006


This is part of the Sultan's Elephant, previously discussed here. Very cool.
posted by jrossi4r at 5:24 PM on June 25, 2006


Saw this a few weeks ago, incredible idea.
posted by fire&wings at 5:25 PM on June 25, 2006


i am creeped out on so many levels by this...
posted by beachgrrlmusic at 5:26 PM on June 25, 2006


If this is a double, I apologize. (Submits self for flogging...)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 5:28 PM on June 25, 2006


Looks like a Björk video that hasn't been made yet.
posted by emelenjr at 5:34 PM on June 25, 2006


Oh my god. It's t-o-n-g-u-e. It is not pronounced "townge."

Sorry. Big pet peeve.

That's one of the most...human...constructions I've ever seen. Something about the eyes is particularly real. Absolutely creepy.
posted by symphonik at 5:38 PM on June 25, 2006


You can imagine it breaking free of the strings and going on the rampage only to be sedated by an army marskman from a helicopter.
posted by fire&wings at 5:44 PM on June 25, 2006


Amazing.
posted by RufusW at 5:46 PM on June 25, 2006


Oh my god. It's t-o-n-g-u-e. It is not pronounced "townge."

It's not pronounced 'ton-gewy' or "tong-you' either. The pronunciation has nothing to do with the spelling.
posted by delmoi at 5:47 PM on June 25, 2006


It kind of reminds me of In the Heart of the Beast Puppet Theater, Minneapolis' local puppet show troupe. They do a May Day celebration every year with huge puppets and many other performers. Not as cool in an "articulated mechanics" way, but almost as nifty, and it happens every year!
posted by jiawen at 6:00 PM on June 25, 2006


Oh, like I wasn't already terrified of marionettes.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 6:06 PM on June 25, 2006


You Tube link.
posted by empath at 6:09 PM on June 25, 2006


paging trey parker and matt stone.
posted by brevator at 6:10 PM on June 25, 2006


Remember that puppeteer guy in Being John Malkovich? This is one of his wet dreams.
posted by brownpau at 6:11 PM on June 25, 2006


Caught this in London a few weeks ago. It was one of the most astounding things I've ever seen.
posted by davebushe at 6:14 PM on June 25, 2006


What's the music in the background?
posted by BaxterG4 at 6:20 PM on June 25, 2006


Maybe it's the music, but it makes me sad more than anything.
posted by Malor at 6:27 PM on June 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


beaucoupkevin: "Oh, like I wasn't already terrified of marionettes."

Yes. I too now share an irrational fear of marionettes. Strings all dangly...

That popsicle licking action is going to haunt my dreams for some time.
posted by Drunken_munky at 6:30 PM on June 25, 2006


There were photos of this in Life magazine last month I believe. But after seeing the video the photos don't really do to justice to how incredible she looks in motion.

Amazing. Like something out of a storybook, especially the part with the children riding on her arms. I wish I could have been there to see the whole spectacle in person.
posted by kosher_jenny at 6:30 PM on June 25, 2006


She wasn't anything like thirty-five feet tall. Maybe fifteen or sixteen. The elephant, on the other hand...
posted by Hogshead at 6:40 PM on June 25, 2006


Incidentally there is a brief scene about two-fifths of the way through, just a couple of seconds, in which the little girl is crouching or squatting. It's not clear what was going on.

She was urinating.
posted by Hogshead at 6:46 PM on June 25, 2006


Gimmicky bastard.
posted by Human Flesh at 6:52 PM on June 25, 2006


What a fantastic puppet! I'm not sure if it was the music, but I didn't find her creepy at all. The puppeteers costumes were a nice touch too.

It made me think of Theo Jansen's work a little.

Thanks for posting this! :-)
posted by Stuart_R at 6:56 PM on June 25, 2006


(On post-view, it looks like I'm in the minority when it comes to not being creeped out. But then I guess it takes a lot to creep me out when it comes to Uncanny Valley stuff. I'm more fascinated by it all than anything else. Although I'll admit that the tongue thing was pretty strange.)
posted by kosher_jenny at 6:57 PM on June 25, 2006


Thunderchick is go!
posted by blue_beetle at 7:33 PM on June 25, 2006


Just don't look! Just don't look!
posted by Cedric at 7:47 PM on June 25, 2006


They should get together with the Puppetry of the Penis (NSFW, duh) guys. That would definitely attract some attention...
posted by chasing at 8:08 PM on June 25, 2006


That was spellbinding. Yes, it was also a little weird. And definitely looks like Bjork's next video.

I liked the part with the (real) little girls swinging on her arms. It was funny how they kept looking up at her face.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 8:17 PM on June 25, 2006


The vocal sample in the music is from the intro to "It Amazes Me" as performed by Blossom Dearie. It makes it extra creepy hear that tune warped like that.
posted by nonmyopicdave at 8:21 PM on June 25, 2006


Absolutely incredible. The scene where the children were riding on her arms was beautiful. The way they were able to make her look at the kids was unlike anything I've ever seen.
posted by photoslob at 8:26 PM on June 25, 2006


This was very beautiful. Not quite uncanny valley, but definitely alive.
posted by bigmusic at 8:29 PM on June 25, 2006


Coolest fucking thing I've ever seen. Anyone know what the music is?
posted by frogan at 8:33 PM on June 25, 2006


(On post-view, it looks like I'm in the minority when it comes to not being creeped out. But then I guess it takes a lot to creep me out when it comes to Uncanny Valley stuff. I'm more fascinated by it all than anything else. Although I'll admit that the tongue thing was pretty strange.)
posted by kosher_jenny


I'm with Kosher_Jenny on this. It was very cool to see, but I didn't find it creepy at all (even during the popsicle part). Maybe my lack of discomfort says something about me than the puppet. That said, I don't think it's near the Uncanny Valley at all.

Not knowing the context, I started to think this was some artistic music video.

I too liked the puppeteers costumes. Reminded me of Lilliputians.
posted by Juggermatt at 8:33 PM on June 25, 2006


Damn humans are inventive! I love it when artists take such a seemingly simple and sometimes boring thing and turn it into something wonderful and well, friggin' amazing. Very cool.
posted by j.p. Hung at 8:36 PM on June 25, 2006


Another vote for not creepy. I got more of a "abstract love of the beauty of human artifice" feeling. But I guess I'm just a sentimental.

The music was sweet too. Anyone know if it was playing at this event, and what it was?
posted by Alex404 at 8:47 PM on June 25, 2006


Really something unique and beautiful, bears looking up The Sultan's Elephant videos so you can see the rest of the spectacle. It's things like this that make life truly magical for a child, and of course for adults as well.
posted by mk1gti at 8:49 PM on June 25, 2006


That music was beautiful. I've seen links to this before, but never this particular performance. Thanks.
posted by rougy at 9:11 PM on June 25, 2006


Cool. Loved the haunting eyes.
posted by nickyskye at 9:29 PM on June 25, 2006


Wow, it's just realistic enough to seem human on a subconcious level, but completely alien in so many ways. Disturbing (in a cool way). The tongue though. Omigod. D:
posted by cj_ at 9:30 PM on June 25, 2006


I'd hit it.

Wait, what???
posted by LordSludge at 9:48 PM on June 25, 2006


The music is given at the end of the movie, its by Les Balayeurs du Desert, who are apparently quite closely related to the theatre group.
posted by scodger at 9:55 PM on June 25, 2006


I'm just waiting for the followup when someone steals her lollipop. "She came to life. Good for her."
posted by smallerdemon at 9:55 PM on June 25, 2006


Bathe her and bring her to me.

Oh, no. Not like that. Ick. Elephants are gross. Never mind.
posted by loquacious at 10:32 PM on June 25, 2006


Seems as if the location of the valley varies in different people. And for those of us who are necrophiles, it exists not at all. For us, she is a paragon of zombie sexuality.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 11:05 PM on June 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


Best footage I've seen yet. Cheers!
posted by Samizdata at 12:03 AM on June 26, 2006


Michael Jackson on a dress
posted by Cranberry at 12:30 AM on June 26, 2006


sigh, IN a dress
posted by Cranberry at 12:30 AM on June 26, 2006


Strikes me as rather Clive Barker: "In the Hills, the Cities" . . .
posted by treepour at 12:42 AM on June 26, 2006


"She wasn't anything like thirty-five feet tall. Maybe fifteen or sixteen. The elephant, on the other hand..."

Nope. Somewhere around 22 feet or so, I think.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:08 AM on June 26, 2006


last year in nantes:
http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/43875

nice to see she still lives ;)
posted by borq at 3:38 AM on June 26, 2006


[This is very cool]
posted by squirrel at 8:33 AM on June 26, 2006


Ethereal -- the definitive figure from the company that did the logistics for the London event (not Royal De Luxe, but Unusual) is six metres, so nineteen and a half feet.
posted by Hogshead at 1:51 PM on June 26, 2006


I liked the lillipution guys in red coats attending to her needs. Weird, but there is good weird.

Nifty link Steven C. Den Beste
posted by Smedleyman at 3:06 PM on June 26, 2006


Le Petite Geante!

My sister and her boyfriend were amongst the volunteers for the Sultan's Elephant in London earlier this year - they were ushers, which meant they controlled the audience so that they were a good distance away from the marionettes (so that they didn't get trampled on).

She really, really enjoyed it. She keeps going on and on about it, even now. Being there in person, she could see the magic first hand.

The guys in red coats are from Royal De Luxe, the company that makes the marionettes. It took them years of creating and planning (getting permission to close the road, terrorist worries, etc) but when they got it running, it was totally worth it.

They did one in an African country (can't remember where) but it was a black child. The local people had never seen ANYTHING like it and they were stunned.
posted by divabat at 12:18 AM on June 27, 2006


Man that was cool. Sent a shiver up my spine, but in a good way. Not creepy. Well maybe just a little bit, enough to spice it up.

I had no idea there were such things out in the world. Which is why I love teh internets so much.
posted by shelleycat at 9:41 PM on June 30, 2006


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