The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes | Chicago Reader

The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes

The Brothers Quay are best known for their creepy puppet animations, but they're also theatrical set designers, which is more relevant to this elegant and surreal live-action feature (2005). A piano tuner (Cesar Sarachu) is engaged by a sinister doctor (Gottfried John) to service his bizarre “automata,” eerie machines that generate hypnotic musical tones; the doctor's alluring housekeeper (Assumpta Serna) tries to seduce the tuner, but he becomes obsessed with the doctor's mysterious mental patient (Amira Casar). As in most of the Quays' fantasias, the narrative is oblique and slow moving but the florid visuals are rife with sexual and psychological overtones. 99 min.


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