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Phantom Museums: The Short Films of the Quay Brothers


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Phantom Museums: The Short Films of the Quay Brothers + The Collected Shorts of Jan Svankmajer + Jiri Barta: Labyrinth of Darkness
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Product Details

  • Directors: Quay Brothers
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Zeitgeist Films
  • DVD Release Date: April 24, 2007
  • Run Time: 261 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MQ4WP6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,179 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

For those who already know the short films of the Brothers Quay, Phantom Museums is a welcome, thorough investigation of a lifelong dedication to stop-motion animation and dream sequence narratives. For those just discovering this identical twin team of Stephen and Timothy Quay, Phantom Museums is the place to start. This two-disc set includes roughly twenty of their projects, chronologically spanning thirty years. Inspired by the old-fashioned look of early animated features such as The Adventures of Prince Achmed, as well as Jan Svankmajer and Jiri Barta's films, The Brothers Quay built their reputation on combining the quaintness and delicacy of early animation with present day macabre. As miniaturists, they painstakingly hand assembled decadent sets, such as an ancient library, a shrunken head vault at the natural history museum, and spiral staircases. Homemade dolls with missing eyes, pins, needles, and screws, protractors, and other tiny metallic things, make characters and their environs grotesquely techno, framed by carnivalesque camerawork in which the viewer experiences scenes from every possible angle. Highly anatomical, they sometimes use steaks and livers to represent doll innards. Watching these films now, one appreciates their Goth quality, especially because of the romantic, classical musical accompaniment. Their influence on the music video industry is also apparent. Each film has a unique story and production design, so that although the overall Quay aesthetic is clear, variation avoids redundancy. Phantom Museums also includes director commentary, alternate versions, and a wonderful filmed interview with the pair, in which they discuss their father forcing them to choose between either becoming gym teachers or artists. Lucky for us. --Trinie Dalton

Product Description

Two of the world’s most original filmmakers, identical twins Stephen and Timothy Quay have been creating their unique blend of puppetry and stop-motion animation for nearly 30 years and have spawned an enormous cult following. The Quays display a passion for detail, a breathtaking command of color and texture, and an uncanny use of focus and camera movement that make their films unique and instantly recognizable. Best known for their classic 1986 film STREET OF CROCODILES -- which filmmaker Terry Gilliam recently selected as one of the ten best animated films of all time -- they are masters of miniaturization and on their tiny sets have created an unforgettable world, suggestive of a landscape of long-repressed childhood dreams. This new two-disc set contains thirteen of their classic short films—some never-before-available on DVD—in brand-new, restored and remastered editions (personally supervised by the Quays), plus a collection of "footnotes" including new audio commentaries, extensive interviews, alternative versions, unrealized pilot projects and more. PHANTOM MUSEUMS: THE SHORT FILMS OF THE QUAY BROTHERS also features a 24-page, gorgeously illustrated booklet, including an extensive Quay Dictionary and a new essay by film critic Michael Atkinson.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 17 customer reviews
Some of the most haunting film ever created, all together captivating and horrific yet beautiful.
Burnt Fur
The Quays were extensively involved with the preparation of this set--from personally supervising the transfers to recording audio commentaries for selected works.
Berlinale
People who already love the Quays truly cherish this veritable compendium of shorts from the masters of animation & visual artistry.
Theo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Berlinale on January 19, 2007
As a long time Quay fan this is manna. I went to the Zeitgeist web site and it sounds nothing short of incredible:

Box Synopsis:

Since the late 1970s, identical twins Stephen and Timothy Quay have made a unique contribution to animation in general and the puppet film in particular. Filtering arcane visual, literary, musical, cinematic and philosophical influences through their own utterly distinctive sensibility, each Quay film rivets the attention through hypnotic control of décor, music and movement, evoking half-remembered dreams and long-suppressed childhood memories, fascinating and deeply unsettling in turn.

This new two-disc set contains thirteen of their classic short films in brand-new, restored and remastered editions, plus a collection of footnotes including extensive interviews, alternative versions, unrealized pilot projects and more. The Quays were extensively involved with the preparation of this set--from personally supervising the transfers to recording audio commentaries for selected works.

Zeitgeist Films is proud to present Phantom Museums: The Short Films of the Quay Brothers in exclusive slipcase packaging--with a 24-page illustrated booklet including an extensive Quay Brothers Dictionary and a new essay by film critic Michael Atkinson.

DISC ONE: THE FILMS
The Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer (1984)
*This Unnameable Little Broom (Epic of Gilgamesh) (1985)
*Street of Crocodiles (1986), plus original treatment
Rehearsals for Extinct Anatomies (1987)
*Stille Nacht I (Dramolet) (1988)
The Comb (1990)
Anamorphosis (1991)
*Stille Nacht II (Are We Still Married?
Read more ›
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By C. Spears on June 7, 2007
I have often wondered what the films of the Brothers Quay mean. Or more precisely, if they have any meaning at all. Thanks to the excellent extras included with this DVD set I am finally starting to get an inkling. However, the main attraction of this set are the films themselves, which are presented in beautiful, pristine condition. I have viewed these films on an earlier DVD collection, but the quality of "Phantom Museums" blows it away! "Phantom Museums" actually includes a couple films I have not seen before! A must for fans!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By James Wood on May 5, 2007
...yes, this edition is nothing short of AMAZING! -what makes this edition more appealing to me is not only the beautifully remastered versions of these dark and haunting films but the 2 added shorts, especially In Absentia, using german composer Karlhienz Stockhausen's score. The inventor of pure electronic music!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By gam on October 16, 2007
I got the chance to purchase the BFI region 2 release of this edition for a very reasonable price and i think there are no big difference in comparison to the us release except for the cover and two trailers not on the BFI release.
I just can not believe there are not so many reviews about this excellent release of their short films, the first Tool music videos rip them off, Tim Burton`s The Nightmare Before Christmas is Disney compared to them, wait a minute... it was a Disney release, excuse moi! Sorry little children.

Anyway these animation are excellent, the second disc includes the very first animation film made from them, there are also audio comments on most of the shorts on disc one, etc. Just grab a copy and you will see.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Theo on July 27, 2011
Verified Purchase
This is a beautifully packaged 2-disc dvd set that contains all of the Quays' short film work from 1984-2003. The films are of course stunning and I absolutely loved the Quays' own commentary on Gilgamesh, Crocodiles, Stille Nacht I-III, & In Absentia.

I recommend the Phantom Museums to anyone who is interested in the Quay Brothers and may just be starting to delve and rummage within their realm of dreams, realities, nightmares, and fantasies. People who already love the Quays truly cherish this veritable compendium of shorts from the masters of animation & visual artistry.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Trottin'-Butterz on September 20, 2009
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The 2000 version of the BQC was good for what it was but this version takes it up a notch,especially with the extras and new film/s(?).

As far as content,you can expect abstract stop-motion animation of the highest caliber;some films may not be easily decipherable on the first few viewings but part of the fun of these films is the repeat viewing value!

fans of surrealism,animation,david lynch's animation,tim burton's animation,or even older surrealism like jean cocteau,luis bunel,or maya deren:check this out because it's totally engulfing and brings you within a world that is very interesting!it's the real deal.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jared Turner on June 20, 2009
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In short, their short films are amazing. I am going to have to save up in my piggy bank to purchase their feature length films. Very sophisticated and thought provoking material that will be overlooked by the masses as is usually the case in the "entertainment" business.

Love & Light
J bird
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Eric J. Robertson on September 26, 2008
Any fan of the Quay Brothers will love this collection. The haunting imagery and bizarre narrative is incredibly mesmerizing and inspired. Truly geniuses - the Brothers Quay are worthy heirs to the Svankmajer aesthetic.
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