Apr 13, 2011

The Quay Brothers: The Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer

The image above is a still from The Quay Brothers' animation The Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer (1984). In a world of banal objects and structured environments a series of events both surreal and unexpected are wielded into the world by these objects. In dissecting the structure and mind of Jan Svankmajer, The Quay Brothers (pictured below) create a clever dialogue with the master animator, but also create a complexity that highlights how simply objects transform themselves. Objects in the similar Svankmajer manner transcend themselves and defy their meaning. They create new meaning for themselves acting out of an almost existentialist paradigm--they become autonomous, leading the lives that we could only dream they live.

The Quay Brothers

Much as we see in Jan Svankmajer's Meat Love (1989), there is a transcendence of the object's usefulness in The Quay Brother's animation. We find that we are looking at the inner and private life of an object and the surrealist and whimsical take that presents itself as a result. Svankmajer (pictured below) is known as a pioneer in the animation community--the tragedy and comedy that is present in his work expresses an other-worldliness that is moody, poetic, and dream-like.

Jan Svankmajer


Zeitgeist Films

|| Post by: Stephanie Clark ||

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