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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