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

Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream People Call Human Life (original title)
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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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Jakob
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Lisa Benjamenta
...
Herr Benjamenta
Daniel Smith ...
Kraus
Joseph Alessi ...
Pepino
Jonathan Stone ...
Hebling
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Inigo (as Cesar Sarachu)
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Jorgenson
Uri Roodner ...
Schilinski
Peter Whitfield ...
Null

Directed by

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Stephen Quay
Timothy Quay
Weiser Quay ... (co-director)

Written by

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Alan Passes ... ()
 
Stephen Quay ... ()
 
Timothy Quay ... ()
 
Robert Walser ... (novel "Jakob von Gunten")

Produced by

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Karl Baumgartner ... producer
Keith Griffiths ... producer
Janine Marmot ... producer
Katsue Tomiyama ... producer

Music by

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Lech Jankowski

Cinematography by

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Nicholas D. Knowland

Film Editing by

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Larry Sider

Editorial Department

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Emily Lincoln ... assistant editor

Casting By

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Irene Lamb

Production Design by

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Jennifer Kernke

Art Direction by

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Alison Riva

Costume Design by

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Nicky Gillbrand

Makeup Department

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Caroline Clements ... makeup artist
Suzie Zamit ... makeup artist

Production Management

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Gina Carter ... production manager

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

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Finn McGrath ... second assistant director
Jez Murrell ... third assistant director
Mary Soan ... first assistant director

Art Department

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Tom Burton ... assistant art director
Paul Cutler ... property master
Cathy Ryan ... scenic artist
Joanna Tyler ... art assistant
Vanda Vivian ... property buyer

Sound Department

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Richard Finney ... sound maintenance (as Richie Finney)
Peter Glossop ... production sound mixer
Diane Greaves ... foley artist
Colin Martin ... dubbing mixer
Larry Sider ... sound
Matt Skilton ... foley recordist
Jack Stew ... foley artist
Richard Spooner ... sound assistant (uncredited)

Special Effects by

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Dave Crownshaw ... special effects technician

Camera and Electrical Department

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Glyn Fielding ... grip
Jill Furmanovsky ... still photographer
Alessandra Scherillo ... focus puller
David Smith ... gaffer
Tiffany Walker ... clapper loader

Costume and Wardrobe Department

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Zeb Ibrahim ... costume assistant

Script and Continuity Department

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Diane Taylor ... continuity

Additional Crew

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Nuala Alen-Buckley ... production accountant
Hilary Benson ... production coordinator
Kim Brandstrup ... choreographer
Andy Hennigan ... production accountant
Jason Hocking ... assistant to producers

Production Companies

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Distributors

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Special Effects

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Other Companies

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Storyline

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Plot Summary

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

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Additional Details

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Also Known As
  • ベンヤメンタ学院 (Japan, Japanese title)
  • Institut Benjamenta oder Dieser Traum, den man menschliches Leben nennt (Germany)
  • Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream That One Calls Human Life (United States)
  • Institut Benjamenta (Ce qu'on appelle la vie humaine) (France)
  • Το ινστιτούτο Μπεντζαμέντα (Greece)
  • See more »
Runtime
  • 105 min
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Language
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Sound Mix

Did You Know?

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Trivia Spoken at beginning of movie: Who dares it, has no courage. To whom it is missing, feels well. Who owns it, is bitterly poor. Who is successful, is damaged. Who gives it, is hard as hard as stone. Who loves it, stays alone. See more »
Movie Connections Featured in Celluloid Dreams (2002). See more »
Quotes Jakob: I shall never let myself be rescued, nor shall I ever rescue anybody.
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