62. Internationales Leipziger Festival für Dokumentar- und Animationsfilm
DOK Leipzig 28 October – 3 November 2019
62nd International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film
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Brothers Quay

Potentiae Materialis. Homage Brothers Quay

MASKA by the Brothers Quay
Hybrid spheres materialise, where lifeless dolls move – or rather, are moved, by the Brothers Quay – along with lively machine-like creatures and a host of objects in stop-motion technique to the tones of New Music, such as Stockhausen. Things are seemingly brought to life, as are hands: in the film IN ABSENTIA the latter appear without a body attached, magnified in close-up, transformed into protagonists themselves.
One Night, One Special Programme, One Carte Blanche
The legendary artist duo Brothers Quay works in the liminal zone between animated and documentary film, openly embracing the predicament that only one of many perceptions can be realised in speech and mise-en-scene. The animated filmmakers seek inspiration in literature, for instance that of Robert Walser, upon whose work INSTITUTE BENJAMENTA OR THIS DREAM PEOPLE CALL HUMAN LIFE is based. The first feature-length film from the Brothers Quay (from 1995) treats the story of Jakob von Gunten, who resolved to become a servant.
“It is as if the Quays for example took a literary source into themselves, encoded it in their own personal language and threw it back out into the world cinematically in images, symbols and collages. It is nearly impossible to transform this process back into language, since they add a non-linguistic element to the mix,” explains programme curator André Eckardt, who will be welcoming the brothers to Brothers Quay Night*footnotes for a screening and talk on Friday, 1 November.
The cinematic worlds of the Brothers Quay can rarely be grasped as reality, although their contents appear to be material, recognisable and not particularly symbolic. The audience is challenged to supplement the perspective of the hybrid protagonists with their own personal experience, resulting in emotional, atmospheric impressions more than self-contained narratives.
Films and Tickets

You can find the programme and buy tickets online in our Filmfinder.

Film list brothers quay


All films in the Special Programme >>


We will announce the schedule of all festival screenings with our complete film programme on 10 October. 

THE CABINET OF JAN ŠVANKMAJER is also one of these collage-like films, which – totally in the spirit of the surrealist master himself – creates fascinatingly creepy atmospheres with its cabinets overflowing with absurdity. Under the title Potentiae Materialis: Homage Brothers Quay, DOK Leipzig is offering a comprehensive look into the cinematic work of the two artists. One of the programmes of this Special Programme was curated as a carte blanche by the filmmakers themselves and features films that have provided inspiration for their own work.
With the body of work they’ve assembled over the past 40 years, the Brothers Quay have themselves also consistently stood as an inspiration to others: Christopher Nolan outed himself as a huge fan with his film QUAY (2015), for instance. In addition, the duo has produced music videos for artists such as 16 Horsepower and Peter Gabriel, or film materials for the brand launch of the fragrance Comme des Garçons. For DOK Leipzig, they have created the trailer for this year’s festival edition.