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Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream People Call Human Life (1995)

Mark Rylance , Alice Krige , Stephan Quay , Timothy Quay  |  Unrated |  DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream People Call Human Life + Phantom Museums: The Short Films of the Quay Brothers
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Product Details

  • Actors: Mark Rylance, Alice Krige, Gottfried John
  • Directors: Stephan Quay, Timothy Quay
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Zeitgeist Films
  • DVD Release Date: July 24, 2012
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B007VQG1MM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,725 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Presented in a gorgeous new director-approved transfer, The Quay Brothers Institute Benjamenta combines the fantastic and the mystical in a shadowy reverie as uniquely astonishing as any of their celebrated animations. The titular institute is a dilapidated, moribund boarding school for the training of servants, whose curriculum consists of the endless repetition of a single lesson. Jakob (Tony® Award-winner Mark Rylance) enrolls at the Institute, and becomes gradually embroiled in the world of the enigmatic siblings who run the school: the sadistic Johannes Benjamenta (Fassbinder regular Gottfried John) and his sorrowful sister Lisa (Star Trek s Borg Queen, Alice Krige). Inspired by the writings of Swiss author Robert Walser, the Quays first feature film is a striking, exquisitely realized anti-fairytale that illuminates a fragile world shimmering with strange beauty and hypnotic power.

DVD Special Features Include:

New restored HD master, director supervised and enhanced for widescreen viewing

Eurydice, She So Beloved, a 2007 Quay Brothers short film

Behind-the-scenes footage

Original theatrical trailer

English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired (SDH)

Exclusive digipak packaging, and an extensive booklet

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! August 19, 2012
By hia
Verified Purchase
I'm a long-time fan of the Brothers Quay animations, but this is the first live-action film of theirs I've seen. Did I understand it? No. Does that matter? No. What does matter is the atmosphere, the mood that characterizes the film. The cinematography is spectacular. The lighting of this black-and-white film is in the class of the greatest Weimar silents, which Benjamenta, with its limited dialogue, eerily resembles. The acting is brilliant. Mark Rylance as Jakob is particularly impressive. If you like the avant-garde, the esoteric, films where atmosphere is more important than plot, then Benjamenta should not be missed.
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