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 »
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 »
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 »
Near an extraordinary chair with many legs, a hand is visible gripping an edge. The hand is weathered, the fingers cracked and scarred. The end of a rifle appears and a shot fires. The ... See full summary »
Loosely based on the Mesopotamian "Epic of Gilgamesh", here Gilgamesh is portrayed as a grotesque, Picasso-esque being who uses a tricycle to patrol his box-shaped kingdom that hovers above a dark abyss.
A magnet moves on a floor. A moth beats against a window. A doll child watches the magnet; threads of metal filings gather around the magnet. The doll, who's sitting at a table, looks in a ... 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
PTOE is a sumptuous, seven course feast for the senses.
Nic Knowland's HD cinematography is wonderfully rich and textural. The sound design is eerie and extremely effective.
The art direction is equally fantastic.
Amira Cesar is endowed with an ethereal, otherworldly beauty and is perfectly cast in the film. As is Gottfried John who delights as the diabolical Dr. Droz.
The Quays have succeeded yet again in creating a strangely compelling parallel universe, falling somewhere between German Expressionism and Kafkaesque Surrealism.
The twins have generally been tagged as image-makers rather than story-tellers. That is not necessarily true, as each picture says a thousand words.
If you approach PTOE on a purely sensory level - you will be in for a spellbinding ride in which time will cease to exist. If you approach it as a conventional narrative, you will instead find yourself looking constantly at your watch.
Alice or the white rabbit - it's really your choice.
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