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The Quay Brothers on 35MM: Curated by Christopher Nolan 

Wednesday, Dec 9 2015

"We don't in any way try to emulate what's outside our window. That's the last thing we'd want to emulate." So say legendary stop-motion animators Stephen and Timothy Quay in Christopher Nolan's eight-minute documentary Quay, one of the four short films in The Quay Brothers on 35MM: Curated by Christopher Nolan. And indeed, the Quays' films are very much in their own surreal, often unsettling little universes of creepy figures in creepy surroundings. It's no coincidence that one of their first works was a tribute to Czech animator Jan Svankmajer, and while that film is not among the shorts selected by Nolan for this show, he still picked some good stuff: 1986's Street of Crocodiles, 1991's The Comb, and 2000's In Absentia, while Quay itself is essentially a tour through their studio in England, lit more like a Nolan film than it probably is on a daily basis. To attempt a description of a Quay film's plot is to miss the point, but if the aim of cinema is to achieve a collective dream-state — and let's say that it is — then a Quay Brothers film emulates what you might see outside the window of a particularly disturbing nightmare. It's no wonder the director of Inception wants to share those dreams with the world.


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Sherilyn Connelly


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