Igor, The Paris Years Chez Pleyel

– Brothers Quay (1983)

Igor: The Paris Years, one segment of a larger biographical program created for Channel 4 on the life and times of Igor Stravinsky, finds the brothers working in a slightly different vein than the one that would come to characterize their later work. This is the first section, which covers the pianist’s “French period” from roughly 1920-1939, and it details, among other things, his connection with Jean Cocteau (who, as a matter of fact, contributes voice work to this project). Filtered through gonzo and impressionistic puppetry (often bearing strong resemblance to the work of Terry Gilliam), the film takes an unconventional and often beautiful stab at the television biography special.

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