The Quay Brothers

One of the scenes in my novel Another Life describes watching an animated film, produced by students in a stop-motion format at an open-air screening in the rain. I envisaged and built the script for the film in my mind, greatly influenced by the work of the Quay Brothers, American identical twins working in London.

The Quays are noted for their stop-motion animations featuring puppets, many made of old doll parts and discarded materials. The films are often set, in dark, claustrophobic surroundings and project an air of dreamlike menace; few have meaningful dialogue. 

The Quays’ work is admired by Christopher Nolan and Terry Gilliam. They quote their influences as including Lewis Carroll, Kafka and South American magic realism. I suspect David Lynch may also be an influence. Conversely, I wonder whether Lynch was inspired by the Quays to film giant rabbits.

The BFI has issued a collection of their films, which I thoroughly recommend to anyone interested in the surreal.