The Quay Brothers in 35mm

Friday-Saturday: The film work of Stephen and Timothy Quay is almost ferociously difficult, yielding new levels of unsettling complexity in every rapid cut. While animation is generally pleasant and diverting, their stop-motion visions demand and disturb on the edge of madness. Like the Czech master of surrealist animated film Jan Svankmajer, the Quays create humanoid figures from decayed puppets and transform their human performers into eerie mannequins. Since 1979, the London-based identical twins have made dark dreamscapes too heady for the film marketplace. All the same, their twisted tableaux have penetrated popular culture like consciousness-expanding hallucinogens. They inspired blockbuster filmmaker Christopher Nolan to curate a Blu-ray DVD collection of their shorts (Zeitgeist Films' "The Quay Brothers") coming to Walker Art Center on an 11-city theatrical tour. Nolan also filmed a 12-minute documentary that takes us into the brothers' cluttered studio, a creative cabinet of curiosities. Discussing their uncanny creative methods, they explain that coating antique camera equipment with the liquid from washing your underwear in the sink creates sublime visual effects. It will be shown this weekend alongside three of the brothers' shorts: "In Absentia," "The Comb," and "Street of Crocodiles." (7:30 pm Fri., 2 and 7:30 pm Sat. 1750 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. $9 general, $7 for members, students and seniors. or 612-375-7600.)

Colin Covert