Sunday, April 5, 2009

Institute Benjamenta

Tomorrow is the final day of this year’s Philadelphia Film Festival (now also known as Cinefest). I’ve been attending the festival annually for just about as long as I’ve lived in the Philly area, sometimes managing to squeeze in a dozen or more films in a little over a week. This year, I managed only two. The only one that really made an impact, was the 1995 film, Institute Benjamenta, the first live action film of renowned stop-motion animators, The Quay Brothers. At once incredibly artful and painfully artsy, it’s one of those films I feel I was supposed to like (or at least respect). Yet I had a hard time doing so in the moment, struggling to get through it on a late night after a long day of work. Nonetheless, images from the film and its overall feel have now been stuck in my head for days – something provocative filmmaking should achieve, I suppose. Here’s a clip of one of the film’s more frenetic scenes. It shouldn’t take long to get a feel for whether or not it’s for you.


Joe Manekin said...

Wow, you are a patient cinema goer to sit through that after a full day's work. I made it about 4.30 into this clip.

Though the girlfriend quite liked it, she's a big brothers Quay fan.

David McDuff said...

Even though I found it compelling in hindsight, my patience was definitely tried. I haven't come so close to walking out of a theatre before a movie finished in many years. (Sid & Nancy premiere in Georgetown. I walked....)

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