"...one of the most unflinching depictions of psychosis on film, and one of the most unnervingly convincing." - Michael Brooke, BFI Screenonline
IN ABSENTIA is a remarkable collaboration between filmmakers Stephen and Timothy Quay and the celebrated avant-garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen (who composed and conducted the original music for the film). Shot in black and white (and, occasionally, color) in Cinemascope, IN ABSENTIA combines live action and animation with dazzling use of light to convey the mindscape of a woman alone in a room repeatedly writing a letter with broken off pieces of pencil lead, while outside her window vistas of ever changing light register her every emotion. The film is dedicated to "E.H. who lived and wrote to her husband from an asylum." IN ABSENTIA was produced by Keith Griffiths at Koninck for the BBC and Pipeline Films' series of short music films, "Sound on Film International."
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An absolute tour de force. I usually keep half an eye on what the Brothers Quay are up to, but I somehow missed this. Much credit due to the score, as well. Not to be missed.
Actually based, by the way, on a true story -- gonie inot in some detail in the Nwe York Review's article about the show they currently have up at MoMA: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/nov/22/where-macabre-fantastic-meet/
There are things living in the walls, behind and under the world. They keep us moving, they keep us watching, they are waiting.