In Absentia
(In Absentia)
Quay brothers

Theatrical release: January, 31st, 2003

Angleterre - color and b&w - 20 min - 35 mm scope available in the Quay Brothers DVD box

A woman sits alone on a chair at a table in a room on one of the top floors of an asylum. Bright spot lights dot the night, sometimes shining on her window. She sharpens pencils and writes on a page in a copy book. The pencil point often breaks under her fingers' force. She places broken points outside the window on the sill. A satanic figure is somewhere nearby, animated but of straw or clay, not flesh. She finishes her writing, tears the paper from the pad, folds it, places it in an envelope, and slips it through a slot. Is she writing to her husband? "Sweetheart, come."

 


     
     
       
 
 

Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream People Call Human Life
Jakob arrives at the Institute Benjamenta (run by brother and sister Johannes and Lisa Benjamenta) to learn to become a servant. With seven other men, he studies under Lisa: absurd lessons of movement, drawing circles, and servility. He asks for a better room. No other students arrive and none leave for employment. Johannes is unhappy, imperious, and detached from the school's operation. Lisa is beautiful, at first tightly controlled, then on the verge of breakdown. There's a whiff of incest. Jakob is drawn to Lisa, and perhaps she to him. As winter sets in, she becomes catatonic. Things get worse; Johannes notes that all this has happened since Jakob came. Is there any cause and effect?

Brothers Quay - Short Films
BEAUTIFUL BOX WITH 2 DVD supervised by The Quay Brothers short films, interviews, audio-commentaries... colour booklet 24 pages

The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes
On the eve of her wedding, the beautiful opera singer Malvina is mysteriously killed and abducted by a malevolent Dr. Droz. Felisberto, an innocent piano tuner, is summoned to Droz's secluded villa to service his strange musical automatons. Little by little Felisberto learns of the doctor's plans to stage a "diabolical opera" and of Malvina's fate. He secretly conspires to rescue her, only to become trapped himself in the web of Droz's perverse universe...