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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.

Archive for the ‘Brothers Quay’ tag


More Quays: Slow Time—Tempus Fugit


This short video—officially released to YouTube by the makers of Leffe, a Belgian beer—is two films in one: Slow Time is a brief portrait of the Brothers Quay by Gary Tarn, more fleeting even than Christopher Nolan’s film; Tempus Fugit is an ad by the Quays for Leffe beer that’s more typical than many of […]

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Inner Sanctums—Quay Brothers: The Collected Animated Films 1979–2013


In previous posts about the Quay Brothers’ films I’ve expressed a hope that we might see a new collection from the BFI that gathers together more of their recent works. That’s what we have now in a 2-disc Blu-ray set that will be released in the UK on 10th October. Quay (2015) directed by Christopher […]

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Holzmüller and the Quays


US one sheet (1996). Heinrich Holzmüller (also spelt Holtzmüller) was a German printmaker and calligrapher active during the 16th century. He may have been dead for centuries but this inconvenience didn’t prevent him from appearing as an interviewer in the catalogue for the MoMA exhibition of artworks by the Brothers Quay that ran throughout the […]

Posted in {animation}, {books}, {design}, {film}, {typography} | 1 comment »


Weekend links 322


• Cover art by the Quays for Inner Sanctums—Quay Brothers: The Collected Animated Films 1979–2013, a Blu-ray collection which will be released by the BFI next month. Being something of an obsessive where the Quays are concerned I have a lot of this material already (some of the films in multiple copies), but I’ve been […]

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Unmistaken Hands: Ex Voto F.H., a film by the Brothers Quay


More from the Quays, and one of their most recent animated films. Unmistaken Hands: Ex Voto F.H. is a 25-minute piece made in 2013 for a commission from the Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University. The film is subtitled Fragments and Motifs from the Writings of Felisberto Hernández, the “F.H.” of […]

Posted in {animation}, {books}, {film} | 3 comments »


Animation Magazine: The Brothers Quay


Interviews with the Brothers Quay have been quite plentiful in recent years—some may be found on their DVD releases—but for the Quay enthusiast some are more notable than others. This half hour programme for French TV stood out for me for taking place inside the London studio where many of the Quays’ short films have […]

Posted in {animation}, {film}, {television} | 1 comment »


Butcher’s Hook, a film by Simon Pummell


“Butcher’s hook” is Cockney rhyming slang for “look”, something alluded to in this short and wordless blend of live action and animation. But it also has a more sinister connotation when the fate of the taxidermist becomes apparent. As with Pummell’s earlier Secret Joy of Falling Angels, animal skeletons and silhouettes predominate. The film was […]

Posted in {animation}, {film}, {horror} | 1 comment »


The Mascot, a film by Wladyslaw Starewicz


A recent interview with the Brothers Quay mentioned The Mascot (1933), a Starewicz animation I’d not seen, so here it is. IMDB has a summary: A toy stuffed dog has just been sewn together when it hears a young child ask for an orange. The child’s mother explains that they have no money, and so […]

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Weekend links 273


Byronic I by Boris Pelcer. Via Full Fathom Five. • “Music determines everything in terms of our narrative. Music demands, music suggests. Whereas traditional Hollywood animation is all based on character development—you know, there’s Toy Story and it’s Tom Hanks’s voice pushing the thrust of the action. For us, décor is all part of it. […]

Posted in {animation}, {art}, {books}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {lovecraft}, {music}, {painting}, {science fiction}, {television} | 2 comments »


The Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer, a film by the Brothers Quay


A busy week here (for a change) so this is a bit of a lazy choice but there is a Wunderkammer present. The Quays made this in 1984 for a Svankmajer documentary, and it’s still one of my favourites: Svankmajer as subject, lots of Prague references, and wonderful music (borrowed from Svankmajer’s own films) by […]

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More Brothers Quay scarcities


Look What the Cat Drug In (Long Way Down) (1992). More short films by the Brothers Quay that haven’t yet appeared on their DVDs. Look What the Cat Drug In is a music video for Michael Penn that I was unable to find last time I did a YouTube trawl. It’s a good one. Dolls (1994). […]

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Eurydice…She, So Beloved, a film by the Brothers Quay


Another recent short from the Quays that’s yet to be given a wider release, Eurydice…She, So Beloved (2007) is an opera/dance piece subtitled “Film ballet in homage to the 100th anniversary of Claudio Monteverdi’s Orfeo“. Orfeo (Simon Keenlyside) sings an aria while Hermes (Kenneth Tharp) rouses Eurydice (Zenaida Yanowsky) from her sleep in a suitably […]

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Inventorium of Traces, a film by the Brothers Quay


Inventorium of Traces was made in 2009 but it’s taken a while to make its way out of Poland in any complete form. In this 25-minute video piece the Quays turn their attention to Lancut Castle, a celebrated Polish stately home, and the former residence of the Potocki family. Of the latter, Jan Potocki would […]

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Secret Joy of Falling Angels, a film by Simon Pummell


An animated film from 1991, Secret Joy of Falling Angels layers a variety of ink and paint effects, sketched outlines and a silhouetted bird skeleton. This creates a very different group of animated angels to those in Borowczyk’s Les Jeux des Anges and Bokanowski’s L’Ange although taken together all three films would make for a strange […]

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Maska: Stanislaw Lem and the Brothers Quay


Did I mention the Brothers Quay? This is a mesmerising piece, and another short film to add to the growing number of Quay works yet to be collected on DVD. Maska (2010) is a 23-minute digital animation based on Stanislaw Lem’s short story, The Mask (1976), which the producers have recently made available on YouTube. […]

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The art of Léon Spilliaert, 1881–1946


Self-portrait (1907). Yesterday’s post gives me an excuse to draw further attention to Belgian Symbolist Léon Spilliaert, an artist whose gloomy and mysterious early style is easy to recognise once you’ve seen a couple of his pictures. Spilliaert grew up in Ostend so the Belgian coast dominates his pastels which renounce sunlit beach scenes in […]

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Weekend links 192


“Chloromgonfus detectis, a dragonfly that can detect volatile pollutants.” A speculative insect by artist Vincent Fournier. • “…a modern taxonomist straddling a Wellsian time machine with the purpose of exploring the Cenozoic era…” Butterflies tied together Vladimir Nabokov’s home, science, and writing, says Mary Ellen Hannibal. • More ghosts: Kira Cochrane on the Victorian tradition of […]

Posted in {animation}, {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {borges}, {burroughs}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {music}, {science fiction}, {science}, {sculpture} | 1 comment »


Two sides of Liska


Et Cetera (1966). A little more on the music of Czech soundtrack composer Zdenek Liska (1922–1983). Liska seems to stand in relation to Czech cinema as Ennio Morricone does to that of the cinema of Italy, being similarly prolific, highly regarded, and idiosyncratic to a degree that makes his work immediately recognisable. Both men could […]

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The Cremator by Juraj Herz


The Cremator, a film directed by Juraj Herz, missed out on the attention given to other Czech films in the late 1960s, something the Brothers Quay note in their enthusiastic introduction to the Second Run DVD. Unlike other films made during the Czech New Wave, Herz’s film premiered in 1969 then was promptly banned, and […]

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Stille Nacht V: Dog Door


A short animation by the Brothers Quay which I evidently missed last year when I was searching for their uncollected works. As far as I’m aware this is the most recent addition to the Stille Nacht series, all of which were made to serve some function external to the films themselves: so Stille Nacht I […]

Posted in {animation}, {film}, {music} | 1 comment »



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