“Quay”: Christopher Nolan’s short doc on Stephen and Timothy Quay premieres this week in NYC

By on August 17, 2015

Film director Christopher Nolan’s new short feature documentary Quay will have its world premiere at a special program at Film Forum in New York (“The Quay Brothers – On 35MM“) on Wednesday, August 19, and Nolan and Stephen and Timothy Quay — who are known for their beautifully creepy stop-motion animation work — will all be present at the screening and will participate in a conversation about the films and the inner-workings of their London-based animation studio.


The program includes three Quay Brothers films — In Absentia (2000), The Comb (1991), Street of Crocodiles (1986) — along with Nolan’s Quay (2015), and will be shown exclusively in 35mm screenings.

After New York’s screenings (Wednesday, August 19 – Tuesday, August 25), the Quay program will travel to ten additional cities, including Dallas (Alamo Drafthouse Richardson, 9/3-7), LA (Cinefamily, 9/4-10 with appearances by Nolan), Houston (Museum of Fine Arts, 9/12-13), Austin (Alamo Drafthouse Ritz, 9/17), Cleveland (Cleveland Cinematheque, 9/24-27), Boston (Brattle Theatre, 9/25-10/1), Detroit (Detroit Institute of Art, 10/9-11), Seattle (SIFF Film Center, 10/9-15), Chicago (The Music Box Theatre, 10/16-22) and Toronto (TIFF Bell Lightbox Theater, 10/27).

The tour will be followed by a Blu-ray compilation of their films. The Short Films of the Quay Brothers are currently available on DVD and will be released for the very first time on Blu-ray on October 20, 2015. Only the Blu-ray will feature Christopher Nolan’s short film Quay as well as three recent films not on the DVD.

For more information go to Zeitgeist Films.

Stephen and Timothy Quay’s STREET OF CROCODILES (1986). Courte

A still from Stephen and Timothy Quay’s Street Of Crocodiles (courtesy Film Forum via Photofest)

American identical twins working in London, stop-motion animators Stephen and Timothy Quay are masters of miniaturization, turning their tiny sets into unforgettable worlds suggestive of long-repressed childhood dreams and dark humor.


They find their inspiration in Eastern European literature and classical music and art, and no doubt have also been influenced by Ladislas Starewicz, a pioneer in the genre and a longtime Night Flight fave (we’ve posted about him here), and the Czech master Jan Švankmajer.

Speaking of Czech filmmakers, you might also enjoy these two if you haven’t seen them yet, our feature on Gene Deitch, an American cartoonist working in Prague, and our feature on the Czech new wave fantasy by Jaromil Jireš, Valerie a týden divů — known in English-speaking countries as Valerie and Her Week of Wonders.

About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.