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Inventorium of Traces

The Quay Brothers
Poland 2008 / 23’

Inventorium śladów is a documentary with elements of animation, a homage to Jan Potocki (1761-1815), author of The Saragossa Manuscript. It was shot in the castle of the Lubomirski and Potocki family in Łańcut. The film consists of two parts – the day part, in which editing and music change everyday museum rituals into an almost dance-like whole and the night part, focused on the room with an octagonal opening in the ceiling, which is inaccessible for visitors. This space seemed like a medium, almost haunted by a potential energy. (…) This is why we intuitively selected this single room as Potocki’s “sacred” place – the Quay brothers said. The title “traces” are both findings and inventions – objects and places connected directly with Potocki and those linked to him only by the brothers’ imagination (like the octagonal opening, associated in the finale with the wound of the suicide shot). Both parts of Inventorium are accompanied by music by Krzysztof Pendereckieg. In our film, there are two aspects of music – the Quays explained – the official, public music, which is light and energetic and the sphere of emanation: private, mysterious, expressionist.

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
music Krzysztof Penderecki
producer Marek Serafiński
production Serafiński Studio
language English
colouration colour