The QUAY BROTHERS were born near Philadelphia, where they studied at the Philadelphia College of Art, then later in London at the Royal College of Art. In 1980 they formed KONINCK with colleague Keith Griffiths and since then they have produceda hybrid variety of puppet animation film work: documentaries on Stravinsky, Janáček, Anamorphosis; interludes (MTV); commercials; as well as films inspired by the writings of Kafka, Bruno Schulz (Street of Crocodiles), and Robert Walser (Institute Benjamenta) - a live action feature for Channel 4.
Their work also includes decors for the following opera and theatre productions: Prokofiev’s Love for Three Oranges (Opera North & English National Opera); Feydeau’s A Flea in Her Ear (Old Vic); Tchaikovsky’s Mazeppa (Bregenz Festival / Netherlands Opera); Moliere’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (Royal National Theatre); Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Almeida); Ionesco’s The Chairs (Theatre de Complicité & Royal Court); and for the Wiener Festwochen Olga Neuwirth’s opera Bählamms Fest.
For the ballets of Kim Brandstrup they have designed Dybbuk (The Place); The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other (Malmo Dramatiska Theatre); and Cupid and Psyche (Royal Danish Ballet). For Channel 4 they have directed as part of a series pairing choreographers with filmmakers Duet, a ballet choreographed by Will Tuckett from the Royal Ballet. For the BBC they have made In Absentia - a collaboration with the composer Karlheinz Stockhausen; and for Channel 4, again with choreographer Will Tuckett, they have made a 40-minute ballet based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Sandman. For Tate and Egg Live, they have filmed Steve Martland’s Street Songs conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and for the Wellcome Trust they have made a short documentary film called The Phantom Museum, which was shown as part of the Wellcome Trust’s exhibition called “Medicine Man” at the British Museum. In 2005 they completed their second feature film The Pianotuner of Earthquakes.
The Quay Brothers in 35mm: A Touring Package curated by Christopher Nolan opened at the Film Forum in New York and then travelled to ten cities in America before appearing at the London Film Festival. The tour featured In Absentia, The Comb, and Street Of Crocodiles, along with the world premiere of Christopher Nolan’s own short documentary Quay. Zeitgeist Films subsequently released all their short films for the very first time on Blu-Ray as well as three recent films never before seen on DVD.