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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 7 December 2004
in black and white....How fascinating the light lies like water on Ms Benjamenta's face (first scene) and later flows golden from her mouth...Jakob von Gunten compared to a monkey and soon afterwards to a hart...Wonderful...Mystical...This is a movie you may watch, and then watch and watch and still enjoy it like the fairy tales of your childhood, only now they are filled with erotic implications. Funny moments in between. The right thing to buy and not only rent...I saw it quite often and still know not to have digested all seemingly meaningless meaningful details..The Robert Walser books are so delightful, too, much better than Kafka, who was rather influenced by Walser. Very precious never ending entertainment!
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on 31 October 2000
Never before have I seen a film so rich in erotic tone without a single bit of bare flesh. Stunning close up photography mixed with haunting atmospherics in a very european experience. Will fester for a very long time indeed!!!
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on 27 February 2012
Forget what you know about mainstream Hollywood movies, and go with the flow of dreamlike images in Institute Benjamenta (DVD + Blu -Ray). Based on a 1909 book Institute Benjamenta (Extraordinary Classics) a novel by Robert Walser (sort of), it tell the story of a man, Jacob, who arrives at the Institute Benjamenta where he intends to train as a servant with brother and sister Johannes and Lisa Benjamenta. It's not a place like any other. Why should you watch it? There is certainly no strong narrative flow in this film, but the photography is stunning and the images will stay with you long after. If you do want to puzzle out what's going on a little more the DVD extras and the booklet that comes with this edition are excellent. The interview with the Quay brothers (Timothy and Stephen) the twin brother directors of Institute Benjamenta and just as off beat and unusual as the film they've created.

And if you liked this, then try Quay Brothers' second feature The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes [DVD]. It's just possible it might be even stranger...
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on 13 August 2010
What a beautiful and mysterious film!! Just like anything from the Quays.

The packaging is great, and the extras are incredible!! Great interviews, and three amazing shorts (I recommend "songs for dead children", terribly beautiful!! Nice booklet included.
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on 16 October 2000
remarquable mise à l'écran du livre de Welser. Envoutant, sombre, flou et poussiereux à souhait. Qui est le maître? Qu'est-ce que servir? Vers quoi mene la servitude?
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on 11 March 2015
good and in time
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on 14 February 2011
Strangely dense and uninvolving.

Good cast and subject but it doesn't work for an hour +.

Disappointing.
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