The Brothers Quay + Terry Gilliam = The Piano Tuner Of Earthquakes

Founder and Editor; Toronto, Canada (@AnarchistTodd)
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Oh, golly ...

Though they're certainly not well known in the mainstream the Brothers Quay are legendary in certain circles and I remember being very excited when I heard that Terry Gilliam would be helping out on their next film. Well, that film is The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes, Gilliam is on board as an executive producer and I've just come across a handful of stills from the film that are positively stunning. Alas, the PR site is in German only and I'm not going to trust this to Babelfish, so if there's a German speaker out there who could provide us with a good translation of the synopsis and notes here, I'd greatly appreciate it ... Read on for the stills ...















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tracyJuly 24, 2005 10:49 PM

oh, wow - the brothers quay are freaking AWESOME. I haven't heard about anything from them in some time, so I'm totally looking forward to this.

David HudsonJuly 24, 2005 11:07 PM

Hey, Todd, this is just a very quick, on-the-fly translation, but here we go:


The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes is a co-production of MEDIOPOLIS Film and Television Production (Germany) with Illumination Films / Koninck (England) and Lumen Films (France), with financial support from ZDF/ARTE, arte France Cinéma, COFILOISIRS, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Ingenious Films, UK Film Council, Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, MEDIA and DREFA Media Holding.

The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes is produced by Alexander Ris (MEDIOPOLIS), Keith Griffiths (Koninck) and Hengameh Panahi (LUMEN). Executive Producer is Terry Gilliam.

Shooting dates and location: June 15 - July 10 in Leipzig (MCA-Studios).


On the evening before her wedding, opera singer Malvina (Amira Casar) is mysteriously killed by Dr. Emmanuel Droz (Gottfried John), who loves her obsessively. A "brain doctor" and inventor who has unlocked the secrets of rejuvenation, Droz steals away with the lifeless body before anyone can react - particularly her fiance, Adolfo Blin (Cesar Sarachu).

Far off at his secluded residence, Villa Azucena, Droz brings Malvina back to life, but only to keep her in a state of resigned lifelessness. Night after night, he rehearses an opera with her, one he's written himself.

Droz has designed an artistically elaborate stage, and it's here that he intends, at the peak of a one-time-only performance, pour his own life - as the hero - into hers. It's in this way, so his hypothesis goes, that he will be united with Malvina in an eternal embrace and also take his revenge on the opera world, which has so far rejected his musical creations.

Felisberto (Cesar Sarachu), a piano tuner, is called by Droz to see to his instruments: the automatic machines, driven by the tides, seem in some puzzling way to be influencing life at Villa Azucena. Because he bears a resemblance to her fiance, Alfredo, Felisberto is able to establish communication with Malvina. He falls in love with her and, once he begins to see through Droz's plans, decides to risk everything to save her. Assumpta (Assumpta Serna), the housekeeper and the Doctor's lover, warns him, though at the same time, she is torn between her love for her employer and her jealousy of the singer.

faggot dogJuly 25, 2005 5:30 AM

institute benjamenta is one of my absolute favorite films. plus their collection dvd is magnitudes beyond any animation dreamy and poetic.
i couldn't look forward to anything more than i am to the piano tuner of earthquakes.
...well, maybe if kiyoshi kurosawa teamed up with lars von trier to write and direction a live action akira.