Friday, March 5, 2010

Lech (Leszek) Jankowski - Soundtrack to Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream Called Human Life

Atelier Koninck, 1994

"in a sense it's a much much more quieter a métier or alchemy of objects and silences, of things inhabited"
-Brothers Quay

Lech or Leszek Jankowski is the Polish composer of the scores for the astonishing films of the Brothers Quay. Subdued, silent, Weimaresque collages of Eastern Europe and dead Victoriana, Institute Benjamenta in particular is (almost entirely) a live action film, nevertheless the Quays' brush strokes the same; cameras move mechanically, quiet, slow, symbolic surreal actions play out with the same contemplative, lonely depth as their normal stop motion work. Only here a much clearer philosophical narrative is allowed to play out, as powerful as any of the Kafka they love so dear. Jankowski offers the perfect accompaniment, nay even the "blood" of their films as they state in the interview below, and as I've mentioned the composer's work has the same sort of abstract, atonal yet deeply emotional, sound-painterly approach as Richard Skelton or even Svarte Greiner.


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