A man closes up a lecture hall; he reaches into a box and snips the string holding a gaunt puppet. Released, the puppet warily explores the darkened rooms about him. Screws twist out of ... See full summary »
An unsuspecting, disenchanted man finds himself working as a spy in the dangerous, high-stakes world of corporate espionage. Quickly getting way over-his-head, he teams up with a mysterious femme fatale.
A documentary on the subject of the collections of books, instruments and medical anomalies at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia and the Mutter Museum housed there. This short film ... See full summary »
In Prague, a professorial puppet, with metal pincers for hands and an open book for a hat, takes a boy as a pupil. First, the professor empties fluff and toys from the child's head, leaving... See full summary »
Jakob arrives at the Institute Benjamenta (run by brother and sister Johannes and Lisa Benjamenta) to learn to become a servant. With seven other men, he studies under Lisa: absurd lessons ... See full summary »
Working in the stop-motion puppet animation technique, for which they are best known, this short film by the Quay Brothers revolves around the work and life of Uruguyan writer Felisberto ... See full summary »
Felisberto Fernandez is a piano tuner of exceptional skill, hired by Dr. Emmanuel Droz to come to a remote clinic to clean and refurbish Droz's seven automatons, elaborate mechanical constructs. Droz wants the work done quickly, in time for an opera he's staging for himself. Fernandez's attentions are captured by two women at the clinic, Assumpta, the clinic's manager, and Malvina van Stille, a patient who is also a superb singer. Fernandez works on the machines and is drawn to the women while Droz may be manipulating more than the automatons. Do emotions and choice play any part, or it is all opera? Written by
I don't know that I buy the plot, but entrancing nonetheless
The credits rolled and I sat staring, the afterimage of a burning white face and bench buried in the snow still resonating in my eyes. I was sure if I was blown away, confused, enraged or all three. The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes is riddled with problems: the unnecessarily overbearing voice-over exposition during the first forty minutes, the thin plot lines in the opening five minutes. The Quay Brothers seem to not be entirely sure what this film is about, I don't get the sense that there was a mastermind behind this warped world, like I do while watching Mulholland Drive.
That said, it is a very interesting film and, if for no other reason, this is a film that should be seen for being one of the most beautifully shot films of the last five years. The dried color palette, the hazy, dream-like quality of the main character's POV and the stop motion animation all combine to create a film rich in texture and beauty. It seems that The Brothers Quay, though maybe not the most talented of writers (this, I believe being only their second feature length as compared to stacks of rich short films), they are certainly masters of the medium visually. It's an intense, droning, paced film. It's slow and garbled. But it's beautiful.
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