Friday, August 28, 2015


Wonderful Brothers Quay event at the Watershed in Bristol last night as part of the Festival of Puppetry. I confess to largescale ignorance about their work - long on the list of 'things I need to investigate' - but I couldn't have asked for a better introduction. Four films shown on 35mm (Maska, In Absentia, Stille Nacht III and Street of Crocodiles, the last three in rather gloriously scratchy prints), and as an extra treat, a Q&A session. The moderator was obviously very familiar with their work but managed, without actually waffling, to ask some splendidly unfocussed questions that often weren't actually questions at all. But fortunately just giving the Bros. a small trigger to talk was all that was needed. There were anecdotes about Stockhausen commenting that In Absentia needed "more blue", and about the connection between deer antlers and testicles, plus tidbits about how they actually collaborate on the films (the brother that built a puppet gets to animate it; if they disagree they do it both ways, but animation is timeconsuming so they try not to disagree very much). But most valuable was just to get a sense of the two of them: passionate but relaxed and self-collected, able to speak articulately about their work but also with areas they can only approach obliquely, and not so much telepathic as so sure of their general sensibility - their assumptions, points of reference, worldview - that it removes the need to discuss trivialities. So they can, one assumes, discuss minutiae instead, which are not at all the same thing.

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