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The asylum in which the plot of the film takes place is an allegory of modern-day civilization. The screenplay freely adapts from the themes of two stories by Edgar Allan Poe — “The Premature Burial” and “The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Feather.” One of the main characters is the Marquis, the inspiration of which is the Marquis de Sade. The entire film seemingly takes place in the past, in 19th century France, but it is full of anachronisms and the paraphernalia of today because it is an allegory of the modern world. And the asylum is its proper setting, absolute freedom and civilization’s repression and manipulation its themes.