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  • The Brothers Quay Collection: Ten Astonishing Short Films 1984-1993
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The Brothers Quay Collection: Ten Astonishing Short Films 1984-1993

51 customer reviews

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Special Features

  • Additional 21 minute Brothers Quay Short "Nocturna Artificialia" (1979)
  • In depth print interview

Product Details

  • Actors: Feliks Stawinski, Joy Constaninides, Witold Scheybal
  • Directors: Stephen Quay, Timothy Quay, Keith Griffiths
  • Writers: Stephen Quay, Timothy Quay, Keith Griffiths, Bruno Schulz
  • Producers: Keith Griffiths, G. Gianca, S. Williams
  • Format: Animated, Black & White, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kino Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 1, 2000
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305957681
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,910 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Brothers Quay Collection: Ten Astonishing Short Films 1984-1993" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 60 people found the following review helpful By B. Erickson on June 27, 2002
Format: DVD
A few years back I saw "Institute Benjamenta," the Quay Brothers' full-length live-action film, at some festival. I'd never heard of them before, but they blew me away like they blow everybody away. The B&W was just lovely. I left the theatre like Moses left Horeb.
Of course, the Quays are better known for their stop-motion shorts, and when I mentioned "Benjamenta" to a friend, he loaned me a tape with "Street of Crocodiles" and a few others. All the Tool and Chemical Bros and NIN videos aside, when I watched "Crocodiles" for the first time, I realized I had hit bedrock. The videos are just cheap and tawdry imitations. Mark Romanek chips on this vibe but he's just aping Quay. Nor can you blame him. Once you've watched a band of empty-headed, hollow-eyed Victorian dolls perform bizarre experiments with raw meat and insects to a stabbing violin score, you walk away a changed featherless biped.
Well I condidered myself a fan, but I hadn't seen the half of the films on this DVD before I bought it. I had like a month of Quay-Samadhi. My personal favourites are the lovely B&W "Stille Nachts." "Dramolet" examines the secret life of lead filings (animated in stop-motion!) and magnets, presided over by an incredibly weathered and threadbare doll-puppet with cracked face and glistening black eyes. Later "Stille Nachts" were videos for His Name Is Alive (never heard of them before this either), including "Are We Still Married" and "Can't Go Wrong Without You," which feature the comedy duo of a veiled doll in striped socks that rocks back and forth ominously on its heels, and a decaying toy rabbit orbited by kinetic ping-pong balls.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By "livesidog" on August 9, 2000
Format: DVD
I'm not exactly sure how to describe the Brothers Quay work other than it's one of those things that transcends its genre and evokes real and powerful emotions in the viewer. These short films, all of which are masterpieces of stop-motion animation, are all very dreamlike and abstract, but the fact that you may not understand what's going on all the time doesn't really matter. What's important here isn't the plot or meaning, but the aesthetic and style, much like other (narrative and non-narrative) forms of art. Really, if I had to chose one word to describe the work of the Brothers Quay it would be "beautiful".
My only complaint with this DVD is that the menus and indexing aren't quite set up right, so when one short ends, you have to manually hit the "menu" button on your remote to go back or it'll keep playing through to the next short. Regardless, these shorts are definitely worth having on DVD because of the superior picture quality and the convenience of being able to skip to the individual shorts (not to mention the fact that the DVD includes a few extras, like an interview with the Quays).
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Jason Vance on September 4, 2000
Format: DVD
This collection of ten short films is both revolutionary and revolting. The brothers are actual identical twins, born in Pennsylvania, now living in seclusion in London, who have created a warped vision all their own. Using jerky stop-motion animation and a variety of inanimate household items, this celluloid world is full of darkness and nightmares. Ranging in length from one minute to 21-minutes, it's best to watch this tape in segments; otherwise, your brain will become numb trying desperately to make some type of sense out of the twisted visuals playing out before you. If you have ever seen the music videos for Nine Inch Nails' "Closer" or Marilyn Manson's "Tourniquet," you have already tasted the influence of the brothers. Particularly recommended for anyone with a phobia of porcelain baby dolls -- face your fears!!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "Big Band" John on January 25, 2002
Format: DVD
When I first saw the animation of the Brothers Quay, I was totally entranced. Their stop-motion puppet style is so bizzare and unique, it pulls you in.
First, they use "antique dolls" for their characters. everything has an old and used feel.
Second, is the use of "common items". This really brings it to another level. Nothing is more artistic than a ballet of wood screws, an old pocket watch, and some very creative uses for red meat (you just have to watch it). It can be disturbing at times, but with their sense of direction and cinematography you will almost always find something new with each viewing.
I can see some people who are into mainstream things absolutely hating their work. It is bizzare to say the least. But there is a unique charm that these brothers have created in their dark world.
On this DVD, to me the main features are "Nocturna Artificiala", their first feature (a "bonus" on the DVD), "Street of Crocidiles" (the one that I found the easiest to follow, yet one of the more bizzare), and "The Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer" (tribute to the Chech animator). Most of the other films are shorts under 5 minutes, but it is still a great DVD to own if you like the art of animation.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 14, 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Cinema seems to create more urban legends than any other art form. It is a measure of their success that the Brothers Quay have already reached the point where there is some confusion about their origins. Whether Minnesota or Pennsylvania, we do know that they received their journeyman artistic training in Philadelphia and then moved to London, where they felt there was more opportunity for them than the U.S. had to offer. There they developed a well-deserved reputation for being true masters of puppetry and miniaturist animation.
Experiencing a film produced by the Quays is a lot like watching a travelogue through one of those 19th Century cabinets of curiosities that vied with wax museums for the attention of a public that still had neither television or radio for entertainment. Whichever way one looks one finds startling juxtapositions of objects whose immediate purpose is often not quite apparent. Lost in the shadows are countless grotesqueries that claim our attention and defy us to extract their real significance. For the Brothers Quay scenery is not the background to events, but an active, and sometimes overwhelming, participant.
Against this stage occupied with machines that require living juices to operate and drawers of ever changing objects move a cast of characters every bit as fantastical as those who people Franz Kafka's stories and diaries. Brainless dolls seek content, eerie puppets of bent old men gain and lose their souls, and stuffed rabbits defend egg like beings from attack. Disembodied hands perform erotic acts with ladders while in the background plays a soundtrack both familiar and obscure.
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