The Brothers Quay Collection: Ten Astonishing Short Films 1984-1993 (1984)
The Brothers Quay Collection: Ten Astonishing Short Films 1984-1993 Image Cover
Additional Images
Director:Stephen Quay Timothy Quay Keith Griffiths
Studio:Kino Video
Producer:Keith Griffiths, G. Gianca, S. Williams
Writer:Stephen Quay, Timothy Quay, Keith Griffiths, Bruno Schulz
Date Added:2006-03-20
Genre:Stop-Motion & Clay Animation
Aspect Ratio:1.33:1
Black & White
Full Screen
Stephen Quay Timothy Quay Keith Griffiths  ...  (Director)
Stephen Quay, Timothy Quay, Keith Griffiths, Bruno Schulz  ...  (Writer)
Feliks Stawinski  ...  
Joy Constaninides  ...  
Witold Scheybal  ...  
Stephen Quay  ...  Cinematographer
Timothy Collinson  ...  Cinematographer
Timothy Quay  ...  Cinematographer
Keith Griffiths  ...  Editor
Summary: The surreal visions of the Brothers Quay, identical-twin animators from Minnesota who have since made London their home, are an offbeat mix of clockwork mechanics, wire, thread, and 19th-century curios, all set to life in a series of beautiful but elusive set pieces. Directed in a highly stylized manner, with a shallow plane of focus that intentionally keeps certain objects blurred and a camera that moves with conspicuous mechanical precision, their works have a dreamlike quality about them. This is directly alluded to in the subtitle of one of their most handsome films, "The Comb (From the Museum of Sleep)," where scenes of a latticework of ladders shooting through an angular construction are intercut with shots of a sleeping woman. "Street of Crocodiles," their most famous short work, references turn-of-the-century cinema as a man peers through a Kinetoscope to watch the nightmare-tinged fantasy of a figure overwhelmed by mysterious forces on the deserted streets of a city after dark. These are the longest and most accomplished short films in The Brothers Quay Collection, a compendium of ten works from 1984 to 1993, but the tape contains other spellbinding works, from the early "The Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer," a tribute to the great Czech animator and the Quay's spiritual godfather, to the inventive art history documentary "De Artificiali Perspectiva, or Anamorphosis," to the four short works in the "Stille Nacht" series. These films, along with "The Epic of Gilgamesh" and "Rehearsals For Extinct Anatomies," showcase a vision of quivering objects and surreal narratives in a shadowy, self-contained dream world. --Sean Axmaker