The Brothers Quay Returning To Feature Film With SANATORIUM UNDER THE SIGN OF THE HOURGLASS

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The Brothers Quay Returning To Feature Film With SANATORIUM UNDER THE SIGN OF THE HOURGLASS
Bank on this: If the proposed new feature from iconic animators The Brothers Quay gets the green light to move ahead it will be very strange indeed.

The proposed film is a homage and adaptation of Bruno Schulz s novella: SANATORIUM UNDER THE SIGN OF THE HOURGLASS  and will be set squarely within the enigmatic realm of a ghostly Sanatorium and a 13th freak month. The main subject of the narrative is a journey through a somnambulistic world by the son, Jozef, to visit his purportedly dying Father in a Sanatorium. Once there, Jozef reports on the confusions and horrors of this ever shifting Limbo. Little by little the tissues of reality loosen around Jozef; he becomes subject to a different clock and to the peculiar experiments with Time presided over by a mysterious Dr. Gotard[and a ventriloquizing Auctioneer]: "......here, we are always late by a certain interval of time of which we cannot define the length. Your Father 's death, the death that has already struck him in your country, has not yet occurred. ". This certain interval  will give rise to the eerie phantasmatic ir-reality of the Sanatorium as a result of the contamination and rapid decomposition of time. Through these morphined  and labyrinthine corridors Jozef will vainly pursue and hunt for his Father, or rather, versions of his Father. A Father seen in different guises: incorrigible fantasist, shop owner, the lonely hero who becomes prey to the aberrations of this realm. Jozef will always arrive too late to discover only the fading ghostlike husk of his Father' s being- a mere hand gripped to a stairway door [and to the repeated sound of his feeble coughs].  The Sanatorium's corridors will multiply and double, sometimes as rooms, sometimes becoming streets which give onto town squares and will perpetrate corporeal and psychic memories upon these spaces[both Jozef's, his Father, and that of others, all overlapping].Thus, no centre will ever be reached. Within the Sanatorium's labyrinthine corridors parallel tracks of time,- represented by both a live-action realm and a puppet/object realm [each one secretly mirroring the other] will be traversed simultaneously.
I expect the finished film to make about as much logical sense as that pitch paragraph does - which is to say, not much - but also be pretty much brilliant.

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rustdogFebruary 20, 2010 11:28 AM

I have read Street of Crocidiles another book by Bruno Schultz and can attest to it's strangness. I believe The Brothers Quay did an animated version of it back in the 80's, but I've never seen it. Actually I've never seen any of their work.

Ben UmsteadFebruary 20, 2010 11:32 AM

Holy smoke, Svankmajer and Quay rumblings on the same day? There must be some weird constellations aligning... I'm more of a Quayhead myself, so count me intrigued.

gwyddonFebruary 20, 2010 3:11 PM

Will be interesting to compare this (if it gets greenlighted) to the polish adaptation, 'Hourglass Sanatorium' (Sanatorium pod klepsydra) by Wojciech Has.

larguFebruary 22, 2010 1:16 AM

Finding great pleasure in the writings of Bruno Schultz and being a (somewhat) Quays fan I must say I'm looking forward to this.

On the other hand I can hardly imagine anyone being able to make a faithful adaptation of the book, but seeing the brothers other works I expect it to be nothing like the book. At all. They probably won't even bother.
...which is part of their charm I suppose...

kafkasmonkeyFebruary 22, 2010 12:02 PM

Interesting and logical choice… the Quay Brothers a few months ago had an installation at the Barbican, London to tie in with a Wojciech Has director-spective whose 'Hourglass Sanatorium' played there… saying that I’m sure it’ll pretty damn good and anything they do is always something to get excited about

NicolásFebruary 23, 2010 1:45 PM

These are very good news! I'm a big fan of them. Got their last work "Inventorium Sladow" and liked it very much. Can't wait to see this!