Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on September 29, 2014
I first saw Street of Crocodiles back in the late 80’s, and it’s hauntin’ images profoundly affected me. The Quay brothers are stop motion sorcerers who splendidly invoke the sensations of dream space and texture.
Stephen and Timothy Quay (born June 17, 1947 in Norristown, Pennsylvania) are American identical twin brothers better known as the Brothers Quay or Quay Brothers. They are influential stop-motion animators.
Most of their animation films feature puppets made of doll parts and other organic and inorganic materials, often partially disassembled, in a dark, moody atmosphere. Perhaps their best known work is Street of Crocodiles, based on the short novel of the same name by the Polish author and artist Bruno Schulz. This short film was selected by director and animator Terry Gilliam as one of the ten best animated films of all time, and critic Jonathan Romney included it on his list of the ten best films in any medium (for Sight and Sound’s 2002 critics’ poll). They have made two feature-length live action films: Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream People Call Human Life and The Piano Tuner Of Earthquakes. They also directed an animated sequence in the film Frida.
Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on March 9, 2011
Bruce Bickford (born Seattle, 1947) is a maker of animated films who works primarily in clay animation. From 1974 to 1980 he collaborated with Frank Zappa. Bickford’s animation was featured extensively in the Frank Zappa videos Baby Snakes and Dub Room Special. Zappa also released a video titled The Amazing Mr. Bickford, which was entirely composed of Bickford animations set to a soundtrack of Zappa’s orchestral music.
Bickford’s animations depict surreal scenes based on his unique worldview. Often outwardly seeming to be somewhat disconnected from the world around him, Bruce Bickford’s work is extremely subjective in its content and concepts, making for some disturbing and shocking imagery. Much of his video work depicted fast-moving, fluid-like transformations of human figures and disfigured faces into odd beasts on surreal structural settings with impressive camera effects (moving around within his stop-motion animation).
Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on March 7, 2011
Prophecies of Nostradamus is infamous for its depiction of mutated human beings. One week after the film was released, a viewer lodged a complaint with the Japanese film ratings board, citing the New Guinea sequence and the post-climactic scene featuring two mutated children fighting to eat a snake. Toho had a few frames excised, publicly apologized and even dubbed in the line, “Don’t shoot! They’re human beings!” After its theatrical release and a 1980 television broadcast, the film was officially pulled from circulation by Toho.
In the film, scientific advances cause an outbreak of giant slugs, oversized bats, children with genetic mutations enhancing their physical or mental abilities, and bizarre changes in weather, such as snow falling on the pyramids. The film gets bleaker and bleaker, until Dr. Nishiyama hypothesizes a scenario that re-edits the climactic war footage from The Last War, augmenting them with a scene of the surviving humans, looking like sufferers of neurofibromatosis, fighting over who gets to eat a snake.
Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on March 5, 2011