November 17, 2006

Interview. Stephen and Timothy Quay.

The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes Stephen and Timothy Quay's first live-action feature in eleven years, The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes, is, among many things, "a tragic fairy tale drenched in otherworldly visual splendor," as Nick Schager has put it for Slant. Jonathan Marlow spoke with the Quay Brothers at their London studio in February, and today, we're presenting the first part of their conversation, focusing on their early work. As Piano Tuner opens wider, more will follow.

"The long wait was distressful, but The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes repays forbearance astonishingly, and anyway, shouldn't cinephiles lusting for jaw-dropping filmic tropes endure, if necessary, Time's painful passage with all the indefatigable patience of animators?" asks Guy Maddin in Film Comment. "It's not as if you can count on pictures this original coming along very often."

Updated through 11/22.

"Piano Tuner manages to walk a line between fable-like simplicity and complex avant-garde storytelling - seen here as perhaps not the oddest of bedfellows after all," writes Jeff Reichert at indieWIRE.

"Flaunting elements of Phantom of the Opera and The Island of Lost Souls, the movie, with its haunting, claustrophobic environment, allows the living and the merely lifelike to interact with an eerie beauty," writes Jeannette Catsoulis in the New York Times.

Alison Willmore talks to the Quays for IFC News.

Reviews in the German press.

Earlier: Todd at Twitch.

Update, 11/19: "The endless, unsettling repetition and referentiality, arduous visual trials, and near-totemistic attention to detail make the Quay Brothers and The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes distinct oddities in the landscape of contemporary cinema," writes Leo Goldsmith at Reverse Shot. "[U]nlike the executive producer of this film, Terry Gilliam, they seem utterly immune to the encroachment of meddlesome studio executives, or are at least able to bend them to their own wills and thereby to navigate the treacherous seas of international film distribution. Hopefully, this method will keep their dusty atelier unviolated by intruders, and their endlessly refractive universe hermetic and intact."

Update, 11/22: Karen Wilson, briefly, in the Voice.

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Posted by dwhudson at November 17, 2006 11:07 AM