Monday, March 20, 2006

The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes

Bros Quay, 2006, (99 mins)
César Saracho, Gottrfried John, Asumpta Serna

Felizberto the Piano Tuner is enlisted by the sinister Dr Droz to take care of the bizarre collection of automata he keeps at his island sanctuary. But Droz is a master manipulator, and possibly a magician. To enter his domain is to lose oneself. The Brothers Quay’s second foray into live action creates the same creepy, kinky, hermetically-sealed artificial world as their animation: a place of veils, mirrors, fetish objects, laughing doll-faced mannequins, and meaningless rituals. Actors become part of the artifice; their movements heavily choreographed, their gestures looped, reversed, and repeated, their portentous dialogue deliberately stilted. The narrative splices together Phantom of the Opera, The Tempest, and The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari, and filters them through Borges and German gothic romances. This is film as logic-defying as fever-dream or fugue: rich, strange, and - quite literally - entrancing. Steve Balshaw

No comments: