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Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream That One Calls Human Life (1995)
"Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream People Call Human Life" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  23 August 1996 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,154 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 33 critic

Jakob arrives at the Institute Benjamenta (run by brother and sister Johannes and Lisa Benjamenta) to learn to become a servant. With seven other men, he studies under Lisa: absurd lessons ... See full summary »

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Title: Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream That One Calls Human Life (1995)

Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream That One Calls Human Life (1995) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Jakob
...
Lisa Benjamenta
...
Herr Benjamenta
Daniel Smith ...
Kraus
Joseph Alessi ...
Pepino
Jonathan Stone ...
Hebling
César Sarachu ...
Inigo (as Cesar Sarachu)
Peter Lovstrom ...
Jorgenson
Uri Roodner ...
Schilinski
Peter Whitfield ...
Null
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Storyline

Jakob arrives at the Institute Benjamenta (run by brother and sister Johannes and Lisa Benjamenta) to learn to become a servant. With seven other men, he studies under Lisa: absurd lessons of movement, drawing circles, and servility. He asks for a better room. No other students arrive and none leave for employment. Johannes is unhappy, imperious, and detached from the school's operation. Lisa is beautiful, at first tightly controlled, then on the verge of breakdown. There's a whiff of incest. Jakob is drawn to Lisa, and perhaps she to him. As winter sets in, she becomes catatonic. Things get worse; Johannes notes that all this has happened since Jakob came. Is there any cause and effect? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

23 August 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream That One Calls Human Life  »

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Lisa Benjamenta: I am dying from the emptiness of cautious and clever people.
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Connections

Version of Jakob von Gunten (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

 
a moving picture work of art
9 January 2006 | by (Transilvania, RO.) – See all my reviews

It is fairly rare that moving pictures are made with real artistic value in mind and even more rare when the endeavor pays off. Well, The Quay brothers' Institute Benjamenta is one such picture. At first sight it might appear a little too pretentious with an abounding array of hidden symbolism of a strange and antique meaning but then again, the basic thread of the picture is as old as humanity itself, pointing back to the ancestral roots of what makes us human: to love and to loose. It is remarkable the technique and the rendering of the camera in the Quay brothers' masterpiece. You cannot but help wondering if the images themselves are not centuries old and, in a sense, that is exactly the aim of the picture, to make itself look old and timeless, at the same time. I urge anyone who is really looking for that special feeling films give us, far from commercialism and hollywoodia, to see this movie. Sure, most of you will find it a little bit hard to watch but if you give it patience and let the mood of the picture fill you from within your imagination then I think this will be a rewarding cinematic experience.


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