Monday, January 7th marks the end of the Quay Brothers exhibit Quay Brothers: On Deciphering the Pharmacist’s Prescription for Lip-Reading Puppets at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) previously reviewed here. But apropos of the proverb “every ending is a new beginning” the exhibition will culminate in the United States premiere of the Quay Brothers’ new film, The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. Spanning multiple disciplines including animation, graphic design, illustration and film, the Quays work has a surreal, dreamlike quality—
A seemingly perfect fit with the rich symbolism and existential theme of Kafka’s tale chronicling the transformation of salesman Gregor Samsa, who awakes one morning to find he has been transformed into a large insect.
Unsurprisingly, the Quays long standing interest in Kafka traces back to their early days as design students and according to MoMA’s press release “they originally conceived the notion of adapting Kafka’s best known story to film in the mid-1970s, in a series of drawings” (also part of the Quay Brothers gallery exhibition).
The film shot in digital video, combines stop-motion animation, puppetry, and live-action pantomime promising a visual feast for Quay Brother and Kafka aficionados. An added dimension to the film screenings will be live piano accompaniment by Russian-born French pianist Mikhail Rudy who commissioned the film “in affiliation with Cité de la musique in Paris, where it premiered last March.” Presented as part of MoMA’s The Contenders 2013 film series, the screening is a fitting close to the exhibition.
Special screenings of The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka can be seen on January 6 and 7, 2013 at The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1 at The Museum of Modern Art located at 11 West 53 Street, New York, NY.
Featured image:The Metamorphosis of Franz Kafka. 2012. Quay Brothers. Image courtesy of the filmmakers.