The Üble Marionette

Still from the opening titles, The Üble Marionette (The Extraordinary Marionette), screened at the Mill Valley Film Festival Videofest; winner of JVC Tokyo Video Festival Special Merit Award and East Bay Video Festival First Prize.    Video excerpt below.     More photos...

About the work

The Üble Marionette In 1919 agit-train theaters rolled across the young soviet republic to bring news of the Revolution to the agrarian provinces, which had yet to be connected by radio or newspaper. Agit-prop performances were staged in the railway cars and from the station platforms. In 1959 the newly formed troupe of the blind director Takashima left Moscow for the fortieth anniversary tour of the agit-trains. Although promised a dozen experienced actors for the tour, Takashima encounters only one other person on the train. Her name is Stella Grohsky, married to Bruno Grohsky.

Related Works


Scenes: Bruno misses Stella; Takashima revives the Constructivist theater.


  • Performers:  Toyoji Tomita, Margaret Fisher, Mark Groh, Alex Prisadsky
  • Camera: David Heintz, Bassem Elias, Margaret Fisher
  • Music: Robert Hughes
  • Voice-over: Lulia Ronskaya, Arkadi Serper, Valentin Popov, Archana Horsting, Sandro Martini
  • Sets: Janice Campbell, David Jouris, Chris McFee
  • Script, Direction, Digital Effects, Montage:  Margaret Fisher
  • Produced by:  International Performance Network and MAFISHCO
  • Language: Russian   Subtitles: English
  • Original format:  VHS, re-photography, Amiga graphics
  • Release date:  1992 TRT:  30 minutes
  • Genres:  American Dance on Video, Video Shorts, Constructivism

Screenings and Awards

  • JVC Tokyo Video Festival: Special Merit
  • East Bay Video Festival: First Prize
  • Mill Valley Film Festival: Videofest
  • The Squeaky Wheel, Buffalo NY:  The Translation and Replication Series
  • Mills College Littlefield Concert Hall:  Songlines Series