THE BROTHERS QUAY DO STANISLAW LEM’s MASKA!!
My plans have been falling through left, right, and center the last few days, near unbelievably so, but there’s been just enough nice to make up for it. I had two shoots this past weekend, one with Mishka and Jim, who wanted engagement photos, headshots, and wedding invitations, and another with Shane for promotional photos for his new website, and I might be spending this upcoming weekend in Seattle, following my dear friends The Mutaytor as they kick off their Pacific Northwest tour. (I was given an iPod touch for the engagement photos, too, which means I NOW HAVE INTERNET IN MY POCKET. So. Exciting!). Good times!
Today I’m processing my photos from the weekend, picking through and polishing, getting into the sort of flow I can get lost in for hours, and writing poetry back and forth with New York. I’ve already finished my first run through the engagement photos and soon I’ll be finished with Shane’s pictures, and then it will be time to start making Valentine’s dinner for my sweetheart, who I look forward to seeing. Things there have been an odd, bohemian mix of blissful and bizarrely unreliable, dotted with both raw adoration and vast misunderstandings, so the prospect of an actual “date” night, though unusual, is somewhat reassuring.
The Brothers Quay Retrospective was fantastic. Street of Crocodiles and The Epic of Gilgamesh (aka This Unnameable Little Broom) are still resting behind my eyes, making the world a nicer place to live. Not only do I now have a precise imagine of what I wish to do with my cat skull, I woke up in a night that was almost morning and let my blindness guide me through almost a musical exploration of lines of thick shadow and knots unwinding. By the time I finally got up to face down my day, I had already written full paragraphs of script in my head. (I will never regret keeping all my baby teeth or that small box of broken watches). Now it is only upon me to learn how to tweak the settings on my Canon to something appropriate for stop-motion animation.
I will state for the record that I hated the stop-motion course I took, the teacher’s remarks were too open-ended, there were no crits that weren’t blindingly obvious, and I found the other students ideas oddly insipid, them: “I know how to end it! Let’s kill off our character with a giant rolling Indiana Jones ball of plasticine!” me: “No, let’s end it with the beginning of that Franz Kafka story where the guy turns into a bug, the articulation would be really… nevermind” (welcome to me at twelve), but it still remains one of the most useful classes my mother ever enrolled me in. The only classes that frustrated me more were the Architecture and Painting Courses where they didn’t give us a lick of information, just gave us supplies and told us to go nuts. If I recall correctly, I ended up building a small house for cats that I was incredibly unsatisfied with and an awkward triptych of paintings my mother loved, but could barely fit on the bus home.
Stop-action nightmares are brought to life in this retrospective on Timothy and Stephen Quay, identical twins and masters of disturbing, fetishistic, visceral, and extraordinary animation. This double-bill program of thirteen shorts is selected from a quarter-century of startling work that has earned the brothers an enormous cult following. Includes Street of Crocodiles, recently selected by Terry Gilliam (Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Brazil) as one of the ten best animated films ever made. “This megadose of the Quays’ singular vision will haunt your perception for days” (Time Out New York).
Their The Piano-Tuner of Earthquakes stole my breath when it came through with the Vancouver International Film Festival. Ethan brought me. As arresting as Strings, (another film absolutely everyone must see), it was infatuating, erotic, and haunting. I’ve never stopped looking for a copy. We agreed after that we’d not ever seen anything that so exquisitely captured the marvelous feeling of a trembling dream. There was a sense of timelessness I couldn’t let go of, nor did I want to for days after. I could catch glimpses of it between my lashes as I sat looking out the window of the bus or waiting in a line-up. Their work is transformative and not to be missed.
So, that said, what are people doing Saturday night?
May 4, 5, 7. Titles + showtimes.