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Quay Brothers: Masters of Puppet Animation

The Cabinet of Jan Švankmajer, Prague’s Alchemist of Film

Extended

 

Director_ Quay Brothers, Keith GRIFFITHS
 
UK 1984 15min Blu-ray color shorts Documentary 12
Overview

This early film by renowned animators the Quay Brothers is structured as a series of little lessons in perception, taught by a puppet simulacrum of Jan ŠVANKMAJER, whose head is an opened book, to a puppet whose head the master empties of dross and refills with a similar open book. Each of the nine segments or chapters “refers variously to the importance of objects in ŠVANKMAJER’s work, their transformation and bizarre combination through specifically cinematic techniques.

CREDIT
  • DirectorQuay Brothers, Keith GRIFFITHS
  • ProducerKeith GRIFFITHS
  • ScriptQuay Brothers
  • CinematographyQuay Brothers
  • Production DesignQuay Brothers
  • MusicZdenek LISKA
  • EditorQuay Brothers
SoundColin MARTIN, Larry SIDER
FILM SOURCE
ATELIER KONINCK QBFZ │ qquays@dircon.co.uk
DIRECTOR
Quay Brothers
 
The Quay Brothers are identical twin directors born in 1947. They studied at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and Royal College of Art in the UK. In 1980, they established Koninck Studios with Keith GRIFFITH and created various puppet animations. Fascinated with and influenced heavily by the works of Franz KAFKA, Bruno SHULZ, and Robert WALSER, they have created many films with a gloomy tone and manner. The Quay Brothers have built a dreamy, fantasy-like world while working in various fields, including documentaries on Igor STRAVINSKY and Leos JANÁČEK, films, advertisements, and interludes. In addition to the films from the 1980s such as The Cabinet of Jan Švankmajer, Prague’s Alchemist of Film (1984) and Street of Crocodiles (1986), they have created different works, including Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream People Call Human Life (1995), The Sandman (2000), In Absentia (2000), The Phantom Museum: Random Forays Into The Vaults of Sir Henry Wellcome´s Medical Collection (2002), Eurydice: She, So Beloved (2007), and Inventorium of Traces (2009). Their most recent film is The Doll´s Breath (2019).
Keith GRIFFITHS
 
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