“Bunraku (文楽) is a form of traditional Japanese puppet theater, founded in Osaka in 1684, and performed by puppeteers, chanters, and musicians. One of the three major classical theaters of Japan, with kabuki and noh drama, bunraku is a sophisticated theater written and performed for adult audiences. The puppets are one-half to full life-size. Each major character is jointly manipulated by three puppeteers, who appear on stage in full view of the audience. The main puppeteer generally appears bare-faced, while the others are invisible in black hoods. The main puppeteer manipulates the eyelids, eyeballs, eyebrows, mouth, and the right arm. A first assistant operates the left arm only, and a second assistant the legs. Puppet heads and costumes represent character types rather than individual characters.” [Web Japan.org]
JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS is a bunraku work for film conceived by Pedro Valiente and developed by Alejandra Prieto at Winged Cranes. Performer Gonçalo de Morais, like Jason, achieves his goal --he becomes an actor. So, he was filmmed in Portugal as the main character in a play, with naked torso and black shorts, manipulated by women-puppeteers.
In bunraku, Jason walks, runs, and rows facing adventures. At the end, he beats the dragon that keeps the Golden Bighorn –the golden dream.