One of the nation’s great theaters is the Coolidge Corner in Brookline, MA. The house is half first-run, half rep and run by people who really love the art and experience of movies. (For example, Clinton McClung, who started the Buffy Sing-Along project, was once a Coolidge guy.)
You can tell a lot about an organization by who they honor, and past recipients of the Coolidge Award, instituted in 2004, include: Zhang Yimou, Vittorio Storaro, Meryl Streep, Thelma Schoonmaker and Jeremy Thomas. When an organization is honoring cinematographers and editors in addition to the easy draws of directors and actors, you know they’re serious.
This year, on May 6 and 7, the Coolidge will honor the amazing animation duo of Stephen and Timothy Quay. They’re two of the four stop-motion masters working today (alongside their major influence Jan Å vankmajer and Henry Selick) and have become notable live-action directors as well, through features like Institute Benjamenta and The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes. Examples of their animation can be seen in the interview below, and if you don’t already know their work, I guarantee it will appear familiar due to the massive volume of animation that has imitated and stolen outright from their concepts.
According to Variety, “the two-day event will include an awards
ceremony, screening of films by the Quays, a press conference and
opportunities to interact with the public.“
Any opportunity to see the Quay’s work onscreen is to be seized, and a chance to interact with them in person is incredibly rare.
EDIT: John from the School of Visual Arts in New York just emailed me with details on a NYC appearance as well. The Brothers will give a talk called The Pharmacist’s Prescription for Lip-Reading Puppets, discussing their work in film and theater. This won’t be a chance to meet the team, per se, but seeing them speak is still a wonderful thing.
The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Thursday, April 2 at 6:30pm, at the Visual Arts Theater at 333 W 23 Street. More details are available at the SVA website.
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey