On the evening before her marriage to Adolfo, the opera singer Malvina (Amira Casar) is murdered in a mysterious way by Dr Emmanuel Droz (Gottfried John), who harbours an obsessive love for her. Droz is a 'brain doctor' who has discovered the secret of eternal youth. He takes Malvina's body to his fairytale yet creepy Villa Azucena, located on an island, where he brings her back to life (at least that's how it looks). Evening after evening, he rehearses the operas he has written himself with her. Droz' aim is eventually, during the ultimate performance, to melt into one with her. In the meantime, the piano tuner Felisberto visits the islands to investigate the many automatic machines, driven by the tides, that seem to be related to events on the island. The film draws the viewer into an incomparably designed, poetic universe in which little is what it appears at first sight. There's a lot to be seen: brilliant animation sequences of the 'automatons' and a wonderful evocation of a dilapidated villa and its decadent inhabitants. The story draws on many sources, including the fantastic stories of Poe and Verne. The Quay Brothers use all possible means at their disposal - set, costume, music, lighting - to tell with verve a dreamlike story about love, jealousy, (psychological) power and treachery. (SdH)

Filmmaker
Quay Brothers
Country
United Kingdom, Germany, France
Year
2005
Medium
35mm
Length
99’
Language
English
Producer
Koninck Studios, Neue Mediopolis GmbH, Lumen Films, Keith Griffiths, Alexander Ris, Hengameh Panahi
Sales
Celluloid Dreams
Writer
Timothy Quay, Stephen Quay, Alan Passes
Cinematography
Nic Knowland
Editor
Simon Laurie
Production Design
Eric Veenstra
Sound Design
Larry Sider
Music
Trevor Duncan, Christopher Slaski
Cast
Amira Casar, Gottfried John
Website
http://celluloid-dreams.com/celluloid_dreams_library/m_r/piano_tuner_of_earthquakes