The Quay Brothers' first feature, Institute Benjamenta, is an exquisitely realized anti-fairytale as unique and astonishing as their celebrated animations. Jakob (Mark Rylance) enrolls at the titular institute — a dilapidated, moribund boarding school for the training of servants — and becomes embroiled in the strangely hypnotic world of the enigmatic siblings at its helm. Inspired by the writings of Swiss author Robert Walser, Institute Benjamenta also boasts a stellar art-house cast, including Alice Krige (Star Trek: First Contact) and Fassbinder regular Gottfried John (The Marriage of Maria Braun).
Shown with Street of Crocodiles, the Quays' masterpiece, adapted from a short story by Polish writer Bruno Schulz. A museum caretaker spits into the eyepiece of an ancient kinetoscope and sets the musty machine in motion, plunging the viewer into a nightmarish netherworld of bizarre puppet rituals among the dirt and grime.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
1001 Bissonnet St.
Houston, TX 77005
$7 general public; $6 MFAH members and seniors; $5 Film Buff members.
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