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

Feliks Stawinski , Witold Scheybal , Stephen Quay , Timothy Quay  |  NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Feliks Stawinski, Witold Scheybal, Joy Constaninides
  • 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
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kino Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 1, 2000
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305957681
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,326 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Brothers Quay Collection: Ten Astonishing Short Films 1984-1993" on IMDb

Special Features

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

Editorial Reviews

The Brothers Quay create puppet animation, where decaying dolls, primitive machinery, and other found objects interact in an expressionist world of ultra-reality.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "astonishing" is actually accurate. 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Rehearsals For Extinct Anatomies 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
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dark Alley of Animation 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
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastical, nightmarish ride 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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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Retrospective of Innovative Animated Short Films June 19, 2000
Format:DVD
The Brothers Quay have been producing surreal short stop-motion animated films and videos since 1979. This dvd features 11 different shorts, often grotesque but always stunningly beautiful animation in each. The two shorts I am most familiar with, "Are We Still Married" (1992) and "Can't Go Wrong Without You" (1993) were music videos produced for 4AD Records for the band His Name Is Alive. Both feature similar character animation to several of the Tool videos of the mid-nineties, such as "Prison Sex". Yet I think the Brothers Quay have a more subtle and complex style. Another stylistic influence on BQ is Czech animator Jan Svankmajer, who produced a macabre version of Alice in Wonderland called "Alice" using fish skeletons and animal skulls as a medium. Indeed, the link is more than a coincidence -- one short, titled "the Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer" (1984) pays hommage to Jan.
Any fan of animation should check out these artists. Even if you are not a fan of 'experimental' or non-narrative film, you will find much to enjoy and discuss about their work in this collection.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars For film lovers
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Brother's Quay Collection
If you enjoy the tableau of bizarre bad dreams - this is the video for you!
Amazing and astonishing in it's weirdness, this is an art film's art film. Read more
Published 18 months ago by D Cooper
5.0 out of 5 stars Time To Wind The Meat-Watch...
THE BROTHERS QUAY COLLECTION is a superb bundle of stop-motion wonders. Watching these ten short films back-to-back is like glimpsing the daily lives of the denizens of an... Read more
Published on April 30, 2011 by Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Strange and disturbing
I first saw the works of these two brothers in 1990. I thought there style of animation was so different then what I had seen before. Read more
Published on November 26, 2009 by R. R Reyes
1.0 out of 5 stars great animation, bad dvd
I love the quays but this dvd is terribly designed. It has shoddy menus and is difficult to navigate. Read more
Published on December 26, 2007 by Helm
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, disturbing, and huge fun
If your experience of stop-animation ended with "Davey and Goliath" or Gumby, you're in for a shock. The Quays present a series of works in unique, symbolic style. Read more
Published on April 12, 2007 by wiredweird
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy good
A lot of people owe a great deal of debt to these two
Published on February 9, 2007 by Ian Mccausland
4.0 out of 5 stars These are Amazing
To be honest I haven't seen all the shorts in this collection but can say without hesitation that it is great. Read more
Published on February 7, 2007 by JoshMahan
5.0 out of 5 stars So many influnced
Street changed me. It hand a profound effect on me. I was 19 years old when I first saw it, I'm now 41. It is so easy to see other artists who have been influenced by it. Read more
Published on January 16, 2007 by Shevaron
5.0 out of 5 stars Strangely Wonderful And Wonderfully Strange
Within reason and on occasion, when it harms no one, I like accessing the parts of the mind capable of being reached only when confronted with something too weird for easy... Read more
Published on January 5, 2007 by Dai-keag-ity
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