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Street of Crocodiles

The Quay Brothers
UK 1986 / 21’

Street of Crocodiles is probably the most known animation made by Brothers Quay. Terry Gilliam placed it on his private list of the best animations of all times. Peter Greenaway wrote an enthusiastic review (read the book; see the film) and an anonymous IMDb author recommends, ‘If you’re only going to watch one Quay film in your life, make it this one!!!’ The Quays managed to create a visual and rhythmic equivalent of Bruno Schulz’ prose (for them, the starting point was not only Street of Crocodiles but also The Night of the Great Season. ‘Frequently, you can see how by extracting one phrase, an evocative sentence here and there, they make it more elaborate’, wrote Greenaway. This is a method analogous to what Schulz himself used to do. The film was made to music by Lech Jankowski who since then was to become Brothers’ regular collaborator (he is the voice-over that reads a fragment of the story in the end). For the Quays, one of the main inspirations was the displays of workshops and stores that they watched during walks around the Kraków district of Kazimierz and the Warsaw district of Praga in the 1970s and the 1980s. The first scene shows posters by Starowieyski and Zelek, a small homage to the Polish School of Posters.


Jakub Mikurda

Bracia Quay

Twins, born in 1947. They studied in Philadelphia and continued their education at the Royal College of Art in London, where in the 1970s they directed their first short films. In the 1980s, they made commercials (for Honeywell, Walkers Crisps, and Dulux Wood Protection), music videos (the most famous one - for Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer), and animations which made them popular – The Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer, Street of Crocodiles. In 1995, their first feature film premiered: Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream That One Calls Human Life, winner of the Bronze Horse in Stockholm and the jury’s award at the Fantasporto festival. Another full-length live acting film by the brothers is The PianoTuner of EarthQuakes. Their art is inspired by literature, especially by prose by Bruno Schulz and lately - Stanisław Lem.

Cast & Crew

director The Quay Brothers
screenplay The Quay Brothers
cinematography The Quay Brothers
editing The Quay Brothers
music Leszek Jankowski
visual design The Quay Brothers
cast Feliks Stawiński, Leszek Jankowski (voice)
producer Keith Griffiths
production Koninck Studios
language English
colouration colour