Monday, 22 March 2010
Animator: Brothers Quay (1947-)
Brothers Quay or Quay Brothers are two identical twin American aanimators working in the are of Stop-Motion. Their animation, likely Svankmmajer's, features the concept of the Uncanny, by the use of dolls, the rich highly textured environment, where every bit of dust counts. The Quay Brothers had many influences, from writers such as Franz Kafka or Robert Walser to other Animators such as the Russian pioneer in Stop-Motion Animator Władysław Starewicz or the polish animator Jan Lenica. Also the importance of music in their animation creating a really expressive effect are influenced by the polish composer Leszek Jankowski or by the Avant- garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, creating music that is highly effective.
People may notice the similarities between this type of animation and the one of Svankmajer's, yes they were also influenced by him, who they paid a homage by creating a film called " The Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer". Although their animations may seem quite similar, In my opinion they are really distinctive. While Svankmajer uses stop-motion in a surreal way, using well-known objects provoking the uncanny effect or any other concept. Brothers Quay's animation is a rather more expressive, from the dark and weird, almost distorted environments to the whole weird narrative, and the addiction of really expressive music. The use of dolls, yes gives the uncanny feeling, but also helps to create the world in which the narrative is set. this old dirty and long abandoned world or in contrary the world of dreams and nightmares, the unconscious mind.
All these factors seem something out of Tim Burton's film, but is good to mentioned that who got influenced by this animations was the now famous Tim Burton and his "unique" style.
here is one of the their animation, which was shown today to us. and where all the aspect mentioned before, an expressive world, dark, distorted and weird, with rather uncanny-like characters, constructed upon a weird narrative and accompanied by a really avant-garde, yet expressive music.