Monday, May 11, 2009

The Quay Brothers' "Street of Crocodiles"

The Quay Brothers accepting the 2009 Coolidge Award, honoring film artists whose work advances the spirit of original and challenging cinema.

Original and challenging indeed are the Quay Brothers' short films, which have characters and recurring motifs, but nothing you could call a conventional plot or method of execution.

The brothers' surrealistic films recall the creepy and disjunct dreams that confuse and vaguely disturb us upon awakening.

The brothers construct all of the sets, props and characters by hand. They use stop-animation techniques, rather than computers, to complete their brief films. Music is the engine that drives the motion of the "characters" (which may be weird dolls, nuts and bolts, or even lint). Their soundtracks range from pingly strings to full-out rock.

Their vision is definitely unique, certainly fascinating, and confoundingly obscure. You may enjoy their art, or at least be intrigued by it. Take a look and see. There are more of their little films on YouTube, if you like. Here is a small portion of one, "Street of Crocodiles." And here's more information about the Quay brothers. Finally, here's Part One of an interview with them which may or may not help explain what they do. A link to Part Two will appear after Part One ends.

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