654. Stille Nacht II: Are We Still Married – Timothy Quay, Stephen Quay

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SUMMARY: A short music video for His Name is Alive’s song ‘Are We Still Married’.

WHY IT’S HERE: Although the ‘Stille Nacht’ films, of which there are five, are often seen as the Brothers Quay’s most accessible works, that’s really not saying much! Taking the form of a short music video, ‘Are We Still Married’, the second of the film, is one of the most haunting things I’ve ever seen and, like their earlier masterpiece ‘Street of Crocodiles’, gave me a genuine screaming nightmare the night after I’d watched it! Aside from the haunting qualities of His Name is Alive’s breathy music, the image that most disturbed me was that of a withered hand incessantly knocking against a pane in a door, trying to gain entry but being denied it. A malevolent force trying to push its way in has always been one of my worst nightmares and this image makes the film almost unwatchable for me, and yet its power makes it repulsively attractive! As with the first ‘Stille Nacht’ film, much of the imagery is inspired by ‘Alice in Wonderland’, with Jan Svankmajer’s brilliant feature length film of the book being an obvious influence as well.

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