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Quay Brothers: Masters of Puppet Animation

Quay Brothers: Masters of Puppet Animation

The Quay Brothers are artists who continue to control their images and time in the age of computer-generated images. After two years of close discussion with the Quay Brothers, the JEONJU International Film Festival has organized a special focus to honor the twins’ world of art and craftsmanship. The Quay Brothers first became globally known thanks to their animation The Street of Crocodiles (1986), which was invited to the Cannes Film Festival. 40 years later, they continue to create 24 movements for each second with their puppet animation.
Influenced by surrealism, German expressionism, and Eastern European literature, Quay Brothers’ works may seem illogical, dark, strange and horrific at first, but their artistic ambition is to give the audience the experience of breaking all customs. Creativity that breaks prejudices and condensed symbolisms are concepts the Quays express through the visual distortions and non-conventional camerawork in their films. In addition, they select and write their music, shoot, and even edit. Their production process is against the given institutional practices in the film industry, but identical twins Quay Brothers are not tied down by any conventions. They’re interested in the trivial and insignificant. Instead of being absorbed into the system, they rely on each other and have created their own unique world.
This special focus consists of a mix of their experimental work including puppet animation, live motion, and graphic projects. Commercial advertisements, documentaries, music videos, broadcast shows, and operas which are media readily around us, have gone through the hands of the Quay Brothers to transform into their own unique style. A diverse range of their works will be introduced. The Cabinet of Jan Švankmajer shows their respect for the Czech surrealist animation director Jan Švankmajer and also their affection for Giuseppe ARCIMBOLDO. The Comb is based on an original by Robert WALSER, The Street of Crocodiles is the cinematic version of Bruno SCHUL’s short story with the same title, Maska (2010) is based on the novel by Stanisław LEM, and their latest film A Doll’s Breath (2019) is based on the novel by Uruguay writer Felisberto HERNANDEZ. These are some of the 25 titles from Quay Brothers, who were inspired by many other artists, that will screen at the festival. In addition, documentary Quay by Christopher NOLAN, who is famous for being a fan of the Quay Brothers’, will give us a sneak peek at the twins’ secret workshop.
Quay Brothers’ diverse works which had limited exposure in Korea will be screened as a part of the special focus, while an exhibition of their artworks will run at the same time to reexamine the unique world of the twins. Special exhibition “Quay Brothers: Welcome to the ≫Dormitorium≪” which will be held at the Factory of Contemporary Arts in Palbok, will showcase the Quay Brothers’ The Black Drawings, installation work, as well as 100 of their dormitoriums, which are delicate decor boxes used for their films’ mise-en-scène. Experiencing the works of the Quay Brothers will surely marvel the audience.

Programmer Sung MOON

Program 1

One of elements presented throughout the works of the Quay Brothers is the fantasy literature. This program introduces Brother Quay's short films that are heavily influenced by the following artists: Bruno SHULZ, a novelist who got murdered after publishing two collections of short stories; Alice, the character from Lewis CARROLL's novel; Jan POTOCKI, a Polish nobleman and linguist who committed suicide; and Felisberto HERNÁNDEZ, a writer from Uruguay who is considered the father of Magic realism.

Program 2

Music plays a vital role in the Quay Brothers' works. Sometimes they make films inspired by certain music or use music as a script. This program primarily deals with their films where the music becomes the protagonist. Though each film of Stille Nacht series was created by different requests and intents, they share a common format; they are music videos. In The Sandman, Quay Brothers turned the German Romantic author E. T. A. Hoffmann's story into a dance film. Eurydice: She, So Beloved was created to celebrate L'Orfeo composed by the pioneer of modern opera, Claudio MONTEVERDI.
Jeonju Office

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JEONJU Cine Complex

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Seoul Office

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