The Brothers Quay

Posted by Sam Hayes On Tuesday, March 23, 2010
The Brothers Quay are two American twins who have been creating stop-motion films since the 1980's. They claim that Jan Švankmajer has been a huge influence to them. Most of their films are based around dolls, strange inanimate objects which come to life in a dark atmosphere. One of their recent and most well-known films is 'Street of Crocodiles'.

Street of Cocodiles
The Street of Crocodiles is a short stop-motion film released in 1986. It shows the complicated story of a puppett who has it's strings cut. It uses both real-life and a stop-motion set to show the enviroment, which is in huge amounts of vivid detail. Each object looks worn and perfected and the puppet himself animates very well.

Overall, I liked the set and the enviroment that the Quay Brothers created, but I think the story was awful. It was very hard to follow, and seemed to go off at tangents.. The camera-work of the story was also very strange and some of the shots were awkward. I personally think that the Brothers Quay went through detailed effort with the animating and the amazing sets to put a story that made little sense and had little appeal. Although I can see their contribution to animation, I would not want to watch any more of their work.

5 Responses to 'The Brothers Quay'

  1.'> 23 March 2010 at 14:30

    Ah but Sam you would then miss out out on the splendid Piano Tuner of Earthquakes. Much more recent and probably a bit more accessible.


  2. tutorphil said...'> 23 March 2010 at 18:31

    hey Sam - so negative :-( You know, somethings are not made to be understood, but rather 'felt'... asking the Brothers Quay to 'make sense' in terms of formulaic story is like expecting the proverbial pig to fly...


  3. Simon Watts said...'> 23 March 2010 at 19:06

    Yeah Sam Jesus Christ lighten up please bro. Seriously.


  4. Sam Hayes said...'> 23 March 2010 at 21:29

    Maybe I should watch some of their other films. I might of also been in the mindset of trying to follow and understand it before watching, so maybe I missed the point!


  5. tutorphil said...'> 23 March 2010 at 23:38

    Poor Sam - you seem to being whacked for expressing your opinion... don't misunderstand me; the point I was making that it's not a 'like for like' - the Brothers Quay are auteurs (look it up) - fine artists working in time-based media... The Comb, for instance, isn't rewarding in terms of plot or story (it's not trying to be so it in that sense it isn't failing), but in communicating the dislocations of dream logic and the surrealism of early childhood thoughts and fears, I'd argue it's absolutely pitch-perfect... from a Freudian point of view, it's wonderfully communicative.


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I'm a student studying CG Arts and Animation at the University for the Creative Arts, I'm living in Kent.

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