The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes

2005 Quay Brothers fun

Rating: 12/20

Plot: An evil doctor kidnaps an opera diva. He hires the titular piano tuner (of earthquakes) to perfect his seven automatons so that he can stage an opera he wrote for himself featuring the kidnapped opera diva, also turned into an automaton.

Reading a plot like that, you'd think this is awesome! Unfortunately, that's not the case. This movie crawls, moving so slowly that it barely qualifies as a moving picture at times. I've liked the Quay Brothers in the past; their only other full-length Institute Benjamenta is artsy-fartsy fun and you can read a bit about their short puppet/stop-animation films here. This doesn't have nearly enough puppet action. The mini-lumberjack on the poster makes a few short appearances, and the animation for the guy's automatons, when it's shown off, is beautiful. There's also some mysterious backward filming shenanigans where the Quays "animate" some real people. Without a doubt, you get some beautiful imagery in Piano Tuner, but it's all so sluggishly displayed that I wonder if it was made as a cure for insomnia or something. Stilted dialogue doesn't help. Neither does the fact that, especially early in the film, I couldn't really see or hear what the hell was going on. It makes putting the pieces to this little puzzle of a movie especially tiresome, and after a while, my mind dropped out and I just waited for the little doll lumberjack to pop in again. After all, that's why I bothered to watch this in the first place. Speaking of that, this might have the current record for the number of times I started this and had to give up and start again later for whatever reason (general boredom, sleepiness, too much noise in the room). I had it recorded on the t.v. about two years ago and never got through it, and I made at least two other attempts to watch it on Netflix.

Here's a question for my readers, by the way: Have you ever heard a person, during the time preceding sexual intercourse, ever heard your woman (or guy, I suppose) say the words "Take me"? I have my doubts that anybody ever says that, but you hear it in movies all the time. Kiss, kiss kiss, fondle, rub, rub, kiss, nibble, kiss, rub. . ."Take me!"

And now, here's the first ever shane-movies contest! Successful blogs have contests and giveaways, and I sure would like to have a successful blog. So, here it goes: If you can watch The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes uninterrupted, send me video evidence plus letters from at least two eyewitnesses, and I will make you a grotesque puppet out of food. It must be your first attempt to watch the movie, however. Offer not valid in Oklahoma because people from Oklahoma are creepy.

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