The Grand Book

A young woman lives on the streets in a city that is reminiscent of the 1920s in terms of style and technological advancement This oppressive city has an omnipresent system of cameras and projection screens. Everything that stands out on the street is captured by the cameras and shown publicly, including when the protagonist sleepwalks during her nightmares. This adds to her overall unease until she finds a new perspective on her dreams. Maybe dreaming could be a way for her to find some privacy and let her creativity run wild - a place to be herself.

The film is an animated variation of film styles from the 1920s - a silent film in which German expressionism is mixed with slapstick, accompanied by ominous modern classical music. It's a colourful 20-minute medley of cultural and artistic connections between our time and the interbellum between World War I and World War II. It may take viewers some effort to find their own meanings in this story, but they surely will not be bored.

  • Arjan Brentjes
    Sad Beauty, Sand, Hybris
  • Arjan Brentjes
    Sad Beauty, Sand, Hybris
  • Richard Valk
    It's Nice in Here, Neighbour Abdi, Flow, Aalterate, The Monster of Nix
  • Anne-May de Lijser
    Key Cast
    "Several, performance capture"
  • Arjan Brentjes
    Sad Beauty, Sand, Hybris
  • Dana Alink
  • Jasper Boeke
    Music production
    Mi Vida, De Belofte van Pisa, Ramses
  • Arjan Brentjes
    Music composition
    Sad Beauty, Sand, Hybris
  • Renske Peeters Weem
    3D modeling
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Short
  • Runtime:
    19 minutes 59 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 28, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    220,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Dutch Film Festival
    September 23, 2023
    Dutch Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Animasyros
    September 27, 2023
    Greece Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Videomedeja
    Novi Sad
    October 12, 2023
    Serbian Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Raindance Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    October 29, 2023
    UK Premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Arjan Brentjes

Arjan Brentjes started his career as a painter, and in 2008 he switched to moving images. Since 2010 he is dedicated to making short film, the last years mostly animation. Arjan often takes the viewer back to a visual style from the past, to look at our present, or future from there. Thereby wittily commenting on the development of our technological society and the haughtiness of man.

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Director Statement

This project began the same way as all my previous films. I start with a subject that interests me, an issue in society that I haven't quite figured out yet. I then look for a recognizable visual style from the past that combines with the subject in an interesting and unexpected way. For The Grand Book, I combine the style and technology of the 1920s with the development of Big Tech, particularly its influence on the individual. During my online research on the subject and my search for visual inspiration, I suddenly realized the irony that all this was handed to me by an algorithm. This realization became an important element in the screenplay.