A young man goes to a school for servants run by a brother and sister. In the dreamlike and surreal world that he enters, how will his presence impact the people there and possibly even the school itself?
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Loosely based on the Mesopotamian "Epic of Gilgamesh", here Gilgamesh is portrayed as a grotesque, Picasso-esque being who uses a tricycle to patrol his box-shaped kingdom that hovers above a dark abyss.
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
A truly wonderful film that slowly unfolds images of great beauty before you. I particularly like the through the keyhole moment and the dust being brushed aside by the clock pendulum. But mentioning specific scenes is to distract from the whole work which is I am sure is as close to a dream as one would get without sleeping. I adore Alice Krige in it and the way scenes have been constructed with the actors placed within the whole composition of the frame. I would not recommend this film, rather I think it is much better to discover it yourself and cherish it.
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