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Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan, on New Blu-Ray

Discover the Brothers Quay, Identical Twin Animators Who Inspired Christopher Nolan, on New Blu-Ray

Christopher Nolan’s follow up to “Interstellar,” “Quay,” a documentary short about filmmakers Stephen and Timothy Quay, is but one of the many highlights of “The Quay Brothers: Collected Short Films,” a new Blu-ray due Nov. 24.

The London-based identical twins and stop motion animators, born in Norristown, Penn. in 1947, have long-flourished outside the mainstream
bubble, contributing to stage plays and paying homage to their favorite obscure
directors, including surrealist Czech filmmaker Jan Svankmajer in a 1984
short. “Duke of Burgundy” director Peter Strickland told us in an interview
that “Street of Crocodiles” is one of his favorite films, and here’s
why: “I don’t understand it at all but that’s one of my favorite films.
Mood and atmosphere: you can’t put a price on that, you can’t put it on
the page. It’s really about going with those highs and lows, almost
like music in a sense.”

Nolan, whose production company with Emma Thomas, Syncopy, is partnering with Zeitgeist Films to release “The Quay Brothers: Collected Short Films,” recently curated a traveling 70-minute, 35mm slate of their most influential works, including “In Absentia” (2000), “The Comb” (1991), and “Street of Crocodiles” (1986). (The tour concludes today at Toronto’s TIFF Bell/Lightbox Theater.) “Crocodiles,” unfolding an eccentric and nightmarish world populated by a melancholy puppet unfettered by his master, was the Quay brothers’ first film to be shot on 35mm, and it’s streaming on Fandor (as is “In Absentia”).

READ MORE: Stream 5 Essential Experiments in Animation

A ton of their shorts can be streamed on the site, along with one of their two features, “The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes” (2005). The Quays have also rendered their fantastic dreamscapes in music videos (watch one for His Name Is Alive below) and for other filmmakers, including Julie Taymor’s “Frida” in the freaky sequence where calavera-style puppets rebuild Kahlo’s broken body (watch below).

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