Quay Brothers: The Collected Animation Films 1979-2013

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ltfontaine
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#51 Post by ltfontaine » Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:19 pm

Now, this should be interesting.

Bring Me The Head Of Ubu Roi
Thursday, April 24 and and Friday, April 25, 2008

An adaptation of Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi written by David Thomas and featuring an original score by Pere Ubu, Sarah-Jane Morris in the role of Mere Ubu, and visual staging by the Brothers Quay. Part of the Ether Festival, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London.

"At the heart of Jarry’s original production was the use of various performance media, and Pere Ubu’s show reflects this with the use of stop-motion animation, projections and stage design by the enigmatic Brothers Quay."

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#52 Post by toiletduck! » Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:32 pm

ltfontaine wrote:Now, this should be interesting.

Bring Me The Head Of Ubu Roi
Thursday, April 24 and and Friday, April 25, 2008

An adaptation of Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi written by David Thomas and featuring an original score by Pere Ubu, Sarah-Jane Morris in the role of Mere Ubu, and visual staging by the Brothers Quay. Part of the Ether Festival, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London.

"At the heart of Jarry’s original production was the use of various performance media, and Pere Ubu’s show reflects this with the use of stop-motion animation, projections and stage design by the enigmatic Brothers Quay."
Goddammit! I just became the most jealous boy on the block.

-Toilet Dcuk

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#53 Post by MichaelB » Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:47 pm

Oh, for God's sake - what is it about that week?

April 19 - new Harrison Birtwistle opera The Minotaur
April 20 - screening of Marketa Lazarová in 35mm
April 22 - British premiere of Wajda's Katyn, with Wajda Q&A
April 25 - Eastern Europe film censorship conference with Wajda, Istvan Szabo and Jiri Menzel
April 27 - British premiere of Menzel's I Served the King of England, with Menzel Q&A

...and now April 24!

I wouldn't mind, but my wife started accusing me of dodging my childcare responsibilities even after just three of those hit the diary - and I'll owe her a free week's holiday at this rate.

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#54 Post by denti alligator » Wed Mar 12, 2008 5:12 pm

ltfontaine wrote:Now, this should be interesting.

Bring Me The Head Of Ubu Roi
Thursday, April 24 and and Friday, April 25, 2008

An adaptation of Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi written by David Thomas and featuring an original score by Pere Ubu, Sarah-Jane Morris in the role of Mere Ubu, and visual staging by the Brothers Quay. Part of the Ether Festival, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London.

"At the heart of Jarry’s original production was the use of various performance media, and Pere Ubu’s show reflects this with the use of stop-motion animation, projections and stage design by the enigmatic Brothers Quay."
Um, I just might sell my soul to experience this.

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#55 Post by MichaelB » Sat Apr 26, 2008 3:47 am

denti alligator wrote:Um, I just might sell my soul to experience this.
I hope you didn't!

Let's just say it didn't quite come off, and leave it discreetly at that...

(This review is very accurate - at least as a description of Thursday's performance.)

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#56 Post by foggy eyes » Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:12 am

MichaelB wrote:Let's just say it didn't quite come off, and leave it discreetly at that...
Yeah, you're not kidding. We tossed a coin and made a break for it during the intermission. Even the Quay animations were pretty lifeless - a real shame.

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Re: Quay Brothers - The Short Films 1979-2003

#57 Post by MichaelB » Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:10 pm

A rather surprising nomination in Sight & Sound's recent poll to find "the most inspirational film books". (I'm thinking of Toby Litt's entry).

Incidentally, an updated and expanded version of this literary masterpiece will be included in a forthcoming book on the Quay Brothers' work, to be published in Poland at the end of July and launched at the Era New Horizons festival in Wrocław. Kuba Mikurda is the editor: I don't know the title yet.

Update: It's Trzynasty miesiąc. Kino Braci Quay - and, as the title already suggests, it's entirely in Polish, including my contribution. But there are more details here for those undaunted by this.

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Re: Quay Brothers - The Short Films 1979-2003

#58 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:43 am

In lieu of a dedicated Quay thread this seems to have served as a catch-all for the Quay universe. So... for those with access to London-
http://www.barbican.org.uk/music/event- ... ch2_240311" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Quay Brothers - The Short Films 1979-2003

#59 Post by MichaelB » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:06 am

Thanks for that - I was actually talking about Bartók with one of the Quays only the other night, and this never came up! Maybe he assumed I already knew, but it certainly explains why he's so interested right now.

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Re: Quay Brothers - The Short Films 1979-2003

#60 Post by MaxCastle » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:41 am

NABOB OF NOWHERE wrote:In lieu of a dedicated Quay thread this seems to have served as a catch-all for the Quay universe. So... for those with access to London-
http://www.barbican.org.uk/music/event- ... ch2_240311" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
It's actually premiering in Manchester earlier in July, if that's of any use to anyone.

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Re: Quay Brothers - The Short Films 1979-2003

#61 Post by MichaelB » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:05 pm

And their exhibition Dormitorium is opening in Liverpool tomorrow.

I saw it in Wrocław last summer and unreservedly recommend it - it's based around ten of their original sets, which are quite startlingly tiny.

benja

Re: Quay Brothers - The Short Films 1979-2003

#62 Post by benja » Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:30 am

Dear fans, as mentioned earlier, Kafka's adaptation "Ein Brudermord" is not part of the DVD due to licensing rights.

Is there any way to watch that short? I desperately need this for an essay I'm writing on "Kafka in Animation". There are a dozen of Quay shorts on Youtube, unfortunatley, "Ein Brudermord" isn't. There aren't even any stills to be found on the Internet... Any help would be much appreciated!

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Re: Quay Brothers - The Short Films 1979-2003

#63 Post by Suspect » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:10 am

MichaelB wrote:And their exhibition Dormitorium is opening in Liverpool tomorrow.

I saw it in Wrocław last summer and unreservedly recommend it - it's based around ten of their original sets, which are quite startlingly tiny.
Thanks for this, being local and familiar with the Victoria Gallery I'd have been miffed if I'd missed this, and the Manchester show too...

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Re: Quay Brothers - The Short Films 1979-2003

#64 Post by Zobalob » Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:11 pm

benja wrote:Dear fans, as mentioned earlier, Kafka's adaptation "Ein Brudermord" is not part of the DVD due to licensing rights.

Is there any way to watch that short? I desperately need this for an essay I'm writing on "Kafka in Animation". There are a dozen of Quay shorts on Youtube, unfortunatley, "Ein Brudermord" isn't. There aren't even any stills to be found on the Internet... Any help would be much appreciated!
I'd love to see this too, don't know why it didn't show on the BFI release, also, when Channel 4, eons ago (in the late 80s?) did a Quays series, this wasn't shown either...others like the Stravinsky and Janacek films were although these were also not on the BFI, maybe Michael could chip in?.

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Re: Quay Brothers - The Short Films 1979-2003

#65 Post by MichaelB » Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:11 am

Music rights, plain and simple.

In fact, I'm not even sure this title has ever been telecined. I have seen it, but just once about 25 years ago, so only have a very hazy memory of it.

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Re: Quay Brothers - The Short Films 1979-2003

#66 Post by Zobalob » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:17 pm

Just got hold of the Suzanne Buchan book on the Quay Brothers (as they are now known) and Ein Brudermord, according to the book, from page 20...."....While preparing to distribute Ein Brudermord, they recieved a letter from the Kafka estate's literary lawyers in the United States: Koninck was forbidden to show the film and would be sued for breach of copyright. The film was based on the American translation still protected under American copyright, which didn't count the years of war in its calculations. It was a small film made on a small budget that they had intended to send to festivals, and suddenly they were confronted with an apparatus of legal threats. Besides the Kafka disaster, the soundtrack incorporated music from Krzysztof Penderecki, for which they had not cleared rights. As a result, the film cannot be screened publicly. The experience has not lost its edge and was a slight bone of contention between Griffiths and the Quays....."

We are lucky that Michael managed to get Nocturna Artificialia on the DVD release as the Brothers are on record as wishing that they could have "....trashed the neg.. It's worse than any of our student films.".

Re Ein Brudermord, the translation that the Quays used at that time would almost certainly have been by Willa and Edwin Muir, who were Scottish (not American), so maybe the legal warnings re that copyright would only have been for the USA (?). The oversight re the music rights on the other hand would have sunk it.....major bummer.

Still love to see Ghelderode and Punch and Judy, which I've never seen...the really early stuff is apparently lost forever, AFAIR "a flood" destroyed Der Loop de Loop, Il Duetto and Palais en Flammes.

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Re: Quay Brothers - The Short Films 1979-2003

#67 Post by MichaelB » Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:08 am

Zobalob wrote:We are lucky that Michael managed to get Nocturna Artificialia on the DVD release as the Brothers are on record as wishing that they could have "....trashed the neg.. It's worse than any of our student films.".
Yes, they made it very clear to me that they weren't keen on it, which is why it's buried in the extras. But they also knew that they couldn't stop me - the BFI funded the film and owned it in perpetuity. In compensation, I promised I wouldn't cut out the bit in the interview right next to it when they absolutely trashed it.
Re Ein Brudermord, the translation that the Quays used at that time would almost certainly have been by Willa and Edwin Muir, who were Scottish (not American), so maybe the legal warnings re that copyright would only have been for the USA (?). The oversight re the music rights on the other hand would have sunk it.....major bummer.
My understanding is that it would cost an absolute fortune to make it releasable - far, far more than is feasible for a five-minute experimental puppet short.
Still love to see Ghelderode and Punch and Judy, which I've never seen...the really early stuff is apparently lost forever, AFAIR "a flood" destroyed Der Loop de Loop, Il Duetto and Palais en Flammes.
The really early stuff is indeed lost forever - it was on a single reel which fell victim to a basement flood. Ghelderode and Punch and Judy are still distributed by the Arts Council, as far as I'm aware - I've never seen them myself, and one of the Quays told me that he thought that Ghelderode was their worst film by far, but they should still be viewable with a bit of effort.

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Re: Quay Brothers - The Short Films 1979-2003

#68 Post by Zobalob » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:00 am

I remember reading about the early works being lost in a flood (must be nearly 25 years or so ago) in a copy of "Afterimage", which I still have, somewhere.

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Re: Quay Brothers - The Short Films 1979-2003

#69 Post by Suspect » Wed May 18, 2011 2:18 pm

Is there any word on whether 'Maska' will be getting a more widespread (or online) release at any point in the near future? The trailer looks stunning.

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Re: Quay Brothers - The Short Films 1979-2003

#70 Post by MichaelB » Wed May 18, 2011 2:43 pm

It's included on this compilation of recent Polish short films - but the Quays are still working on the definitive video transfer, as they haven't been happy with earlier attempts.

I'm guessing the Polish DVD is sourced from one of these earlier attempts: the burned-in subtitles (a trait not shared by any of the other films) is a bit of a giveaway.

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Re: Quay Brothers - The Short Films 1979-2003

#71 Post by Suspect » Thu May 19, 2011 11:39 am

MichaelB wrote:It's included on this compilation of recent Polish short films - but the Quays are still working on the definitive video transfer, as they haven't been happy with earlier attempts.

I'm guessing the Polish DVD is sourced from one of these earlier attempts: the burned-in subtitles (a trait not shared by any of the other films) is a bit of a giveaway.
Thanks, good to hear that it's available for consumption in some form, and that they're actively working on getting it released. I would guess Maska and any other future shorts/commissioned works are probably going to appear either online or as part of some sort of short film compilation, or else be confined as extras to future feature releases - that is if Sanitorium Under the Hourglass ever gets off the ground - a la Eurydice, She So Beloved and Songs for Dead Children.

Wishful thinking (and the burdensome music-rights aside), but surely with Maska, The Sandman, Eurydice..., Songs...., and the upcoming Ibragimova-related short, they're on the way to a possible and tentative Brothers Quay - The Shorts follow-up?

NB - on a side note, describing the existence as an extra as confined doesn't really sound fair, especially with the Quays, were the extra features are as often as tempting and illuminating as the main content!

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Re: Quay Brothers - The Short Films 1979-2003

#72 Post by MichaelB » Thu May 19, 2011 11:57 am

Suspect wrote:Wishful thinking (and the burdensome music-rights aside), but surely with Maska, The Sandman, Eurydice..., Songs...., and the upcoming Ibragimova-related short, they're on the way to a possible and tentative Brothers Quay - The Shorts follow-up?
I have absolutely no idea, I'm afraid - I don't work for BFI DVD Publishing, so I'm only privy to what they choose to tell me.

On the other hand, this is probably a good opportunity to flag up the fact that a quarter of the dozen HD masters that were created for the 2006 shorts compilation are now in circulation on Blu-ray in full 1080p - The Comb is an extra on Institute Benjamenta while the two His Name Is Alive videos, Are We Still Married? and Can't Go Wrong Without You, are extras on Alice. I watched them in HD for the first time a couple of days ago, and they look gobsmackingly good.

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Re: Quay Brothers - The Short Films 1979-2003

#73 Post by What A Disgrace » Fri May 20, 2011 6:09 am

It would be amusing if all of the Quay's shorts wind up on Blu-ray...mostly as extras on Svankmajer features.

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Re: Quay Brothers - The Short Films 1979-2003

#74 Post by MichaelB » Fri May 20, 2011 6:21 am

What A Disgrace wrote:It would be amusing if all of the Quay's shorts wind up on Blu-ray...mostly as extras on Svankmajer features.
Well, there was a specific thematic reason for including those two on Alice - aside from something glaringly obvious like The Cabinet of Jan Švankmajer, I can't think of too many other Quay shorts that would really fit!

And I'm not aware of any future BFI/Švankmajer plans, though the ecstatic reception for Alice is presumably being noted.

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Re: Quay Brothers - The Short Films 1979-2003

#75 Post by tavernier » Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:42 am

Coming to the Museum of Modern Art in NYC:
Quay Brothers
August 2012–January 7, 2013
The Michael H. Dunn Exhibition Gallery, second floor, and The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters

This MoMA gallery exhibition and accompanying film retrospective will be the first presentation of the Quay Brothers work in all their fields of creative activity. Stephen and Timothy Quay, identical twins, are internationally renowned moving image artists and designers. For over 30 years, they have been in the avant-garde of stop-motion puppet animation in the tradition of Czech Surrealists Jan Švankmajer and Jiři Trnka, Russian animator Yuri Norstein, and Polish animator Walerian Borowczyk, and have practiced a design aesthetic influenced by Polish graphic artists such as Jan Lenica, Roman Cieślewicz, Franciszek Starowieyski, and Henryk Tomaszewski. Beginning with their student films in 1971, the Quay Brothers have produced over 45 moving image works, including two features, music videos, dance films, documentaries, and signature personal works, The Street of Crocodiles (1986), the Still Nächt series (1988–2008), Institute Benjamenta (1995), and In Absentia (2000). They have also designed sets and projections for opera, drama, and concert performances such as Tchaikovsky’s Mazeppa (1991), Ionesco’s The Chairs (Tony nominated design, 1997), Richard Ayre’s The Cricket Recovers (2005), and their 2011 site-specific staging of Bartok’s Sonata for Violin with violinist Alina Ibragimova in the UK.

In addition to their better known films, this exhibition will include unseen moving image work and graphic design, drawings, typography, and notebooks for films. It will address an audience of enthusiasts and uninitiated in the tradition of the Department of Film’s Pixar (2005) and Tim Burton (2009) exhibitions, and the Museum’s William Kentridge: Five Themes (2010), presenting animation and live-action moving image with installation pieces, objects, and works on paper. The exhibition is organized by Ron Magliozzi, Associate Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art.

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