Sunday, January 21, 2007

Review: Tales of the Brothers Quay

Playing at the Film Forum

The program includes the following films:
The Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer (1984)
The Epic of Gilgamesh (1985)
Street of Crocodiles (1986)
Rehearsals for Extinct Anatomies (1986)
Dramolet (Stille Nacht I) (1988)
The Comb (From the Museums of Sleep) (1991)
Anamorphosis (or De Artificiali Perspectiva) (1991)
Are We Still Married? (Stille Nacht II) (1991)
Tales from the Vienna Woods (Stille Nacht III) (1992)
Can’t Go Wrong Without You (Stille Nacht IV) (1993)
In Absentia (2000)

Masters of stop-motion, The Quay Brothers are known for their Freudian-influenced state of conciousness style imagery similar to that of Jan Švankmajer. Most of their films feature dolls, often disassembled, in a dream world of machine parts, meat, wood puzzles and other found objects. Their attention to detail is striking - you can see the layers of dirt, filth and ware on their materials, and their set designs are amazingly constructed. Their camera work is also well definied, utlilizing intense closeups, rack focuses, vertical and horizontal pans, and repetition to built a distinct rhythmic aesthetic. Their best known work is the haunting Street of Crocodiles, based on the short story of the same name by the Polish author and artist Bruno Schulz. This retrospective, playing this week only at Manhattan's Film Forum, is a must see for any animation fan.

Senses of Cinema interview: Quay Brothers

2006 Suicide Girls interview: Quay Brothers

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