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International Film Festival

Krakow 21-26 XI 2023

Quay Brothers, Christopher Nolan
Quay Brothers, Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan’s documentary about Quay Brothers – Polish premiere

Added: November 27, 2015

The Dark Knight of the cinema fell head over feet with the twin earthquakes tuners. The result of this artistic fascination with the work of Stephen and Timothy is the documentary Quay which we present at this year's Etiuda&Anima Festival. This documentary will be accompanied by Quay Brothers films selected by Nolan himself.

Christopher Nolan, Quay BrothersIn this short documentary, the first one in his directing career, Nolan looks into the Brothers studio - an intimate space where their animated fantasies arise. Stephen and Timothy Quay have been making films for over thirty years using puppets and stop-motion animation. Their art enchanted the world. The love for detail, breathtaking colors, textures and unusual camera operation, give the work of the Quay Brothers a unique and inimitable style. The artists draw inspiration from the cultural heritage of Central Europe. They refer to the writings of Franz Kafka, Bruno Schulz, Jan Potocki and Robert Walser, videos of Jan Švankmajer, Borowczyk, Jan Lenica, Yuri Norshteyn and Jiri Trnka. Their most famous titles include The Cabinet of Jan Švankmajer (1984), Street of Crocodiles (1986) Rehearsals for extinct anatomies (1986), The Comb (1990) Anamorphosis (1991), In Absentia (2000), The Phantom Museum (2003) and The Mask (2010). The Quay Brothers have also featured in their legacy films with real actors: Institute Benjamenta (1995) and The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes (2005).

Polonica at Quay´s

In their work Poland occupies a unique place. The literature of Polish writers Bruno Schulz and Stanislaw Lem became the cornerstone of scenarios for Street of Crocodiles and The Mask (realized in Lodz´s studio Se-ma-for). Also, the narrative of the already mentioned Street of Crocodiles and The Comb is conducted in Polish.

Quay Brothers, Christopher NolanIn 2009, the brothers Quay created Inventorium of Traces in Poland with the participation of the Castle Museum in Łańcut. This documentary-animated film is a tribute to Jan Potocki, the eighteenth-century writer, adventurer and politician, author of The Manuscript Found in Saragossa. An associate of many years for the two brothers is Lech Jankowski who composed the music for The Street of Crocodiles, Rehearsals for Extinct Anatomies, The Comb and Institute Benjamenta. Krzysztof Penderecki´s music has been used in Inventorium of Traces and The Mask. Their art also influenced the work of Polish animators like Borowczyk or Jan Lenica.

During the 22nd Etiuda & Anima Film Festival, an extraordinary meeting of the artistic personality of Christopher Nolan and the Brothers Quay will take place - extremely different, but related in its unlimited and original imagination.



  • In Absentia, director: Stephen & Timothy Quay, animation, UK, 2000, 19'
  • Quay, director: Christopher Nolan, documentary, USA, 2015, 8'
  • The Comb, director: Stephen & Timothy Quay, animation, UK, 1990, 17'
  • Street of Crocodiles, director: Stephen & Timothy Quay, animation, UK, 1986, 21'

All the screenings in 35mm!

Self – Portraits of Animation Authors III – Stephen and Timothy Quay

Rotunda (large screening room)
28th November (Saturday), 4.30 p.m.



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