The writer as auteur
The language of "being John Malkovich"

The puppets

The one question from the preview for Being John Malkovich that we did not address at all in class is the one about puppets and puppeteers:

What is the narrative purpose of making Craig a puppeteer? What is the semiotic function or effect of the repeated references to puppets and puppeteering? How do these relate to your understanding of mind/body relationships in the film?


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Connor Courtney

I thought it was interesting how he was a puppeteer and became the puppet master of John Malcovich. i think he was the 0nly peroson we saw in the movie that could have taken full controll of John Malcovich

Justin W

I found the puppets a good expression of Craig's need to feel in control. To be able to express his feelings in a way that he was unable to in life. It was like he used the puppets as a way to put order in to a life that was full of chaos.

Mallory C

I agree with Justin. Craig definitely used the puppets as an outlet for what he had the inability to retain in the real world. He uses the complete takeover of J.M. to do the same thing. He uses him as a way to get what he hasn't been able to get (Maxine, a career as a famous puppeteer, ect.)

Drew E.

I think Justin made some good points. I think that Craig is sick of not being in control of his own life, and not being able to do what he wants because other people won't let him. I also think that being a puppeteer helped him in taking control of Malkovich because he has that he will be able to use John as a big puppet on a string. It was taking what he was already doing to the next level. Also, other people who entered John's head just watched what was happening, it didn't enter their minds (that we know of) to try and take control the way Craig did.

Brandon F

I agree that Craig was able to take over J.M. because of his puppeteer work and that is also why he thought of it because he saw the world through puppets. I thought that the filmmakers used the images of puppets and puppeteers as a reference to how the mind and body are related. to show the mind as the puppeteer of the body. this makes the premiss of the movie more believable.

Connor Courtney

As well, I thought John Malcovich did a great job in his acting when he was taken over by Craig. He really acted like he was being controlled and that played a lot into the believability for me as a viewer that craig had control.

Mohammed Alsalman

the Puppets as small ideas of what John is to Craig , I gree that craig was under control on John life stage while he couldn't control his. when I first watched the movie I thought its all about how to play with puppets on play stage later on. the portal and how craig and Maxine used it to make some business using John Malkovich budy. I surprised when John himself got out of his own being and get inside his portal to see whats the other saw in him. from the picture to be puppet in Johns life.

cullen manley

Seems movements are a focus already and the manipulation of making certain movements are the desire of the best puppeteers. Puppeteer the main idea which guides the premise especially to a devout puppeteer whose passions are rooted in such. The main character seems, all the sudden, wanting to get inside another perspective in human form driving by his passion for exposure to other human bodies. The main character has started controlling his human character exactly like a puppet…Human Puppetism?

Kathleen O

I agree with what has been said already, I think that puppeteering was a way for Craig to have control over a aspect in his life, as well as be able to lose himself for a little bit. I think that this is what allows him to take over J.M.'s body, like he said in the movie, he becomes friends with J.M.'s body. He becomes him completely to be able to stay in the body, much like what he does with puppets.

I think that the fact that all Craig wanted in life were the things that J.M.'s body could give him was also a reason why he was able to stay in the body, he wanted to lose himself like he does with his puppets, whereas Loddy wanted the things she could get through J.M., but in her own body.

Sultan Alkhelaif

The whole movie was about to be someone that not you. To hide what you are ashamed of and try to protect it to keep it as a super secrete

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