Punch and Judy: Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy

– Brothers Quay (1980)

Following Punch and Judy from their malevolent medieval personas through their much-mollified assimilation into English folklore, this film finally restores the odd couple to their rightful roles as hair-raising anarchists. It is a stunning mixture of mime, mask, painting, crudely animated documents and mischievously reanimated newsreels, as well as the demonic atonalities of a modernist opera by Harrison Britwistle brought to “life” in a puppet fantasy/nightmare.

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