Institute Benjamenta 1995
"Am I living in a fairy tale?" wonders Jakob, the newly arrived student at the Institute Benjamenta, a run-down academy in which men of low self-worth are trained to become servants. Co-run by Herr Benjamenta and his sister Lisa, the Institute seems to exist in a netherworld located somewhere between reality and dreams, a place where corridors can lead inexplicably back on themselves and a chalk circle drawn on a wall can open a doorway to quarters whose apparent splendour can be described but not seen.

As Jakob, who narrates in the first person, settles into life in the institute he begins to discover more about its bizarre inner world. Lisa, becoming more desperate and unhinged as the story progresses, is drawn to our protagonist and the film becomes more and more surreal.

Inspired by the writings of Swiss novelist Robert Walser, the first feature from the Brothers Quay is as outlandishly beautiful, bizarre, mysterious and inventive as one might expect.

Directors: Stephen Quay, Timothy Quay, Weiser Quay
Cast: Mark Rylance, Alice Krige, Gottfried John
Country: UK, Japan, Germany
Genre: Drama

BD50, DVD9 | 1080p AVC, PAL | 01:44:54 | 41.5 Gb + 7.92 Gb
Language: English
Subtitles: English


On the set of Institute Benjamenta (2000, 16 mins, DVD only)

Inside the Institute: an in-between world - the Quay Bros, Swiss writer Alan Passes, Alice Krige, Mark Rylance, and other tech crew members recall how Institute Benjamenta came to exist, its complex narrative and message, the idea of light as a character, the unique sounds heard in the film, etc. In English, not subtitled. (31 min, 1080p).

The Comb - an avant-garde animated short that paved the way for the Quay Bros' first feature film. Shot in 1990. In English, not subtitled. (19 min, 1080p).

Songs for Dead Children - an experimental animated short by the Quay Bros and Steve Martland. Shot in 2003. In English, not subtitled. (25 min, 1080p).

Eurydice - She, so Beloved - film ballet in homage to the 400th anniversary of Claudio Monteverdi's Orfeo. Directed by the Quay Bros. Shot in 2007. Not subtitled. (12 min, 1080p).

Trailer - the trailer for the film. (2 min, 1080p).