Sunday, 3 November 2013

Institute Benjamenta

Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream People Call Human Life – Brothers Quay –The Brothers Quay find shifting worlds and tangible landscapes in the minutia swept beneath the carpets, the cutlery and napkin, or the trail of dust that settles in a corner: all become ritualised instruments, glimpsed mechanics or the visceral particles that escape the perspective of our limited attentions and common expectation. Freudian whispers mingle with the suggestion of a darkened fairy tale (Snow White takes a presiding influence), but ultimately it is the sensitivity to light and the intuition of image, in relation to sound, that develops this film’s unique and brooding world. Narrative becomes evasive, characters seem mutably symbolic and the varying themes of subservience and oppression, desire and labyrinthine dreams, feel ominously unknowable. Based on a novel by Robert Walser, the Quays bring their own meticulous vision and atmosphere to inhabit, explore and divert the source material. 7.5/10

…If scale and perspective were creatively warped and we became roving beetles who scuttled over omens sketched in dunes of skin, fabric, hair and dust… and if floorboards became the swept stages of unseen landscapes…then the Quays’ would curate, conduct and transcribe those mysteries…becoming the insect eyes to calculate those unsettling oddities…while, in the meantime, you suddenly realise (a la Kafka) that you are the beetle…and this is your world…it just took a certain shady hand, the sort that animates porcelain fragments of a broken doll, to guide you… 

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