The Quay Brothers in 35mm | Chicago Reader

The Quay Brothers in 35mm

2015

Short puppet animations by Stephen and Timothy Quay, identical twins from Pennsylvania who studied at Britain's Royal College of Art in the late 60s. The Quays were heavily influenced by Czech animators like Jan Svankmajer and the Russian pioneer Wladyslaw Starewicz (who used animal and insect remains as materials), but their cryptic, mostly black-and-white films are more musical and surreal, discarding narrative for a nightmare world of fine-art references, destabilized perspectives (from 1986, The Comb explores a gorgeous Escher-like catacomb of ladders and crimson wood), and animated objects that mock the human form (in the acclaimed Street of Crocodiles, from 1988, the hero is taken apart and reassembled by a gang of dolls with vacant eye sockets). Also on the program: In Absentia (2000) and Quay, a new short documentary on the brothers by Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Inception).

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