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The Summit

The Quay Brothers (realization)
UK 1995 / 12’

In December 1987 in Washington, the third Reagan-Gorbachev summit was held. In the same year, the brothers Jonathan and Barnaby Stone, founders of the theatre duo Ralf Ralf, staged the Summit for the first time. This is a performance by two actors depicting the story of a meeting between two high-rank politicians by way of gestures, mimics and invented languages. The spectacle was very successful, Ralf Ralf presenting it several hundred times all over the world (e.g. recently in India and Afghanistan). In 1995, right after making the Benjamenta Institute, the brothers Quay recorded fragments of the spectacle as a “pilot” undertaking, in order to draw the attention of Channel 4 to the possibility of making an entire documentary. Unsuccessfully, it turned out. And so Summit exists only as a film sketch, evidencing the Quays’ fascination with discreet choreography of interpersonal relations.


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 (realization)
screenplay Jonathan & Barnaby Stone
cinematography The Quay Brothers
cast Jonathan & Barnaby Stone
language English
colouration colour