by Alessandro Palmeri
Cinema was born from three different disciplines.
The best known is certainly photography, always born in the 19th century, but also from research on human optics, in particular on the discovery of a defect in our eye: retinal persistence.
This discovery made it possible to use tricks to correctly see the numerous frames that scroll through the projector.
The third discipline is the oldest and perhaps the most "artistic" one, the one most linked to the show, that is the theater, and in particular the shadow theater.
This connection with puppetry or animated theater is essential, in any cinema museum reference is made to the more or less mobile figures of the shadow theater.
Starting from this deep bond, which over time is transformed into magic lanterns and its more defined "shadows" getting closer and closer to the cinema, I will try to trace and identify those memories or references that cinema makes with the world of puppets.
I don't want to look only for films that have made direct use of them, but also those that mention them or perhaps incorporate them in a more philosophical discourse.
The first image that came to my mind, for example, is a scene from Steven Soderbergh's film Solaris (remake of Andrei Tarkowsky's film of the same name).
It is a dialogue between the protagonist and a man who appears to him in a dream.
The "ghost" mentions the puppet as a metaphor for the condition the two are experiencing.
I will not dwell on the subject that will be the subject of the first article.
The idea is therefore to find where these two worlds cross, coexist, and then get carried away by the flow of memories to create new connections.
As often happens during the assembly phase, even random connections occur, which amaze us and surprise us for how precise and necessary they are.
An example is precisely starting from this film, Solaris, which revolves around the metaphor of the puppet that becomes aware.
By chance, a fundamental peculiarity of this planet is its material composition: water.