Lip-Reading Puppets: The Curators’ Prescription for Deciphering the Quay Brothers
August 9, 2012–January 7, 2013
In conjunction with the gallery exhibition Quay Brothers: On Deciphering the Pharmacist's Prescription for Lip-Reading Puppets
Quay Brothers Tour
Impress out-of-town holiday guests with a rare behind-the-scenes evening tour of MoMA's Quay Brothers retrospective, led by Associate Curator Ron Magliozzi. After the Museum closes to the public, explore the twins' avant-garde world of design, stop-motion puppet animation, and live-action movie-making. Included in this exclusive evening is a visit to the Bar Room of The Modern, where guests will enjoy a complementary Crushed Nun (Light on the Veil), a cocktail inspired by the exhibition's creators, which will be served with tarte flambé.
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Related Film Screenings
Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream People Call Human Life
1995. Great Britain/Japan/Germany. Quay Brothers. 104 min.
The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes
2005. Germany/Great Britain/France. the Quay Brothers. 95 min.
The Stille Nacht Series, Music Videos, and Commercials
c. 1985–95. Great Britain/USA/France. The Quay Brothers. 10 min.
1986–2003. Great Britain/USA. The Quay Brothers. 32 min.
Stille Nacht I–V
1988–2001. Great Britain/USA. The Quay Brothers. 17 min.
The Phantom Museum: Random Forays into the Vaults of Sir Henry Wellcome’s Medical Collection
2003. Great Britain. Evidence of the Quay’s fascination with bizarre anatomies and the human interior, both physical and metaphysical, this pseudo-documentary demonstrates the influence of the Polish erotic filmmaker Walerian Borowczyk. 11 min.
Inventorium of Traces: Jan Potocki at Castle Lancut
2008/09. Poland. The Quays’ camera roves the dynastic collections of the Polish aristocratic family Potocki, and explores among the museum’s living and dead occupants. 23 min.
Through the Weeping Glass: On the Consolations of Life Everlasting (Limbos & Afterbreezes in the Mütter Museum)
2011. USA. Narrated by Derek Jacobi. The film pays tribute to the unusual collection of medical enigmas on display at the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia, and tells the central stories of Henry Eastlack, whose muscle slowly turned to bone, and the famed Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker. 31 min.
The Essential Shorts, Part I
The Calligrapher Parts I, II, III. 1991
Great Britain. Rejected television spots for a BBC2 rebranding campaign testify to the filmmakers’ roots in graphic art. 1 min.
The Cabinet of Jan vankmajer
1984. Great Britain. Originally part of a live-action documentary, this short is a tribute to the influence of the Eastern European avant-garde. 14 min.
1980. Great Britain. An adaptation of the Franz Kafka story A Fratricide inspired by the Quays’ own “black drawings,” this is the second of their tentative efforts at puppet animation. 6 min.
Street of Crocodiles
1986. Great Britain. Breakthrough stop-motion puppet film adapted from the Bruno Schulz story of the same name. 21 min.
Bruno Schulz, Fragments and Scenes—Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass
2006. Great Britain. This pilot for the Quays’ third feature film is an adaptation of the final novel by Bruno Schulz. 9 min.
The Comb [From the Museums of Sleep]
1990. Great Britain. Narrated by Witold Scheybal. From author Robert Walser, a fairy tale on the theme of confinement and a key work in the Quays’ merger of animation with live action. 18 min.
2000. Great Britain. With composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, inspired by the obsessive writing of the German psychiatric patient Emma Hauck (1878–1920). 20 min.
Program 89 min.
The Ballet Films
Duet (Variations for the Convalescence of “A”)
1999. Great Britain. Codirected by choreographer Will Tuckett. With Zenaida Yanowsky, Adam Cooper. For Britain’s Channel 4, a pas de deux in the space of a lifetime. 16 min.
Eurydice, She So Beloved
2007. Great Britain.Choreography by Kim Brandstrup. With Zenaida Yanowsky, Simon Keenlyside, Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp. A dance of the dead, in homage to the 400th Anniversary of Claudio Monteverdi’s 1607 opera L’Orfeo. 12 min.
2000. Great Britain. Codirected by choreographer Will Tuckett. With Irek Mukhamedov, Heathcote Williams, Zenaida Yanowsky. An Expressionist adaptation of an uncanny E. T. A. Hoffmann story set at the author’s deathbed. 41 min.
Program 69 min.
British Television Documentaries, Part 1
Punch and Judy: Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy
1980. Great Britain. Quay Brothers. 52 min.
Igor: The Paris Years Chez Pleyel
1982. Great Britain. Quay Brothers. 25 min.
British Television Documentaries, Part 2
De Artificiali Perspectiva, or Anamorphosis
1991. Great Britain. Quay Brothers. 13 min.
The Eternal Day of Michel De Ghelderode, 1898–1962
1981. Great Britain. Keith Griffiths. 28 min.
Leos Janácek: Intimate Excursions
1983. Great Britain. Quay Brothers. 26 min.
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
2012. United Kingdom. The Quay Brothers.
The Essential Shorts, Part 2
Rehearsals for Extinct Anatomies
1987. Great Britain. Inspired loosely by the London Underground, this elliptical short is notable for the nuance and texture of its black-and-white images. Tracking shots reveal mysterious worlds where human-like puppets languish in a sickroom, wiry creatures quiver frenetically, and swirls of calligraphy travel across recessed chambers. 14 min.
1979. Great Britain. The first film produced under the auspices of the Quays’ Konnick Studios follows a man’s wanderings through the cobblestone streets of an unnamed city in the dark of night. A moment in which the puppet’s hand gropes the shadowy darkness sets the tone for the Quays’ strange poetry and mastery of creating oneiric spaces. 21 min.
1989. Great Britain/USA. In an eerie landscape, devotional icons teeter amidst rising waters and dark clouds. This station break for MTV was a response to the channel’s “Free Your Mind” theme. 1 min.
This Unnameable Little Broom: Epic of Gilgamesh
1985. Great Britain. In this pilot for a larger unrealized Gilgamesh project, the legend’s eponymous despot patrols his box-like kingdom on a tricycle and lures Enkidu from the wild forest with an erotic contraption that references Marcel Duchamp’s bachelor machines. 11 min.
Maska (The Mask)
2010. Poland. Based on a Stanislaw Lem story, the film’s voiceover narration recounts the inner turmoil of an android assassin who falls in love with her target. Awakened to both her mission and her feminine individuality, the heroine is caught between desire and destiny. Eerie and chilling, the film demonstrates the twins’ lifetime engagement with Polish literature and culture, and their continuing formal innovation. 23 min.
Bartók Béla: Sonata for Solo Violin
2011. Great Britain. This site-specific film for the Manchester International Festival was created to accompany a concert of the Hungarian composer’s music at the historic 19th-century Chethams School of Music. The Quays’ enchanting images of dusty interiors, open coffins, and pens stopped on manuscripts alternate with Alina Ibragimova’s performance. 27 min.
Program 97 min.