It wasn’t uncommon, on early mornings late last summer, to spy two tall and singularly similar-looking men – twin brothers Timothy and Stephen Quay – winding their way through the streets of Philadelphia, heading to the Mütter Museum, the 22nd Street home of a unique collection of skulls, anatomical specimens, fetuses, organs, a plaster cast of famous Siamese twins Chang and Eng, and various weird and spooky stuff relating to the human body. The Quay Brothers, formerly of Phladelphia (and the University of the Arts), had returned to their hometown to make a documentary of sorts about the Mütter, commissioned by the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.
Titled Through the Weeping Glass: On the Consolations of Life Everlasting (Limbos & Afterbreezes in the Mütter Museum), the film, which incorporates the Quay’s unique stop-motion animation work, will have its world premiere Thursday, Sept. 22, at the College of Physicians. Derek Jacobi has provided narration for the project, which was color-corrected and mixed at DIVE, the state-of-the-art Washington Square visual effects, digital imaging and film finishing facility. There will be a special exhibition, too, on the making of the film at the College. Through the Weeping Glass will screen two days later at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (a 35mm print of the film will become part of the MoMA’s permanent collection) and again on September 26 at the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles.
For info, click here. An 11-minute interview with the Quays, conducted by Robert Hicks, director of the Mütter Museum and Historical Medical Library, can be seen right below.