Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
The City of Lost Children
Where happily ever after is just a dream.
A scientist in a surrealist society kidnaps children to steal their dreams, hoping that they slow his aging process.
A grotesque and dark adult fairy tale featuring nightmarish freaks preying on children of the streets!
A stunning visual feast for the eyes! Creativity and imagination are above and beyond my wildest dreams!
Jaws drop! Hearts skip a beat!
As this magnificent masterpiece reveals its fascinating and intricate attention to details that will leave you wide eyed and reveling in the rediscovery of your sense of wonder and unbridled imagination!
Currently streaming on NF!
The City of Lost Children is a wonderfully dark fairy-tale, spiced up by the visual flair of Jeunet and Caro.
There is something inescapably alluring about a dark tale that is about children but perhaps isn’t suitable for them. Stories like this often reside in between dark fantasy and light-hearted morality tale and this one is no exception. The conceit is rather classic, evil man tries to steal dreams from children. It is therefore not so much the content of the film that makes it so enjoyable, but most definitely the approach the pair of directors take to present it. It is visually as rich as it is grim.
Like their previous collaboration Delicatessen this film has a lovely fluidity…
When you're born in the gutter you end up in the port.
A long time ago, in a movie theater far far away, the only film I had seen from director Jean-Pierre Jeunet was Alien: Resurrection. It didn't exactly ignite a desire in me to pursue anything in his filmography. Although my opinion on the director was dramatically changed after seeing Amélie for obvious reasons, it took over 15 years for me to finally see what I believe is the film that got Jeunet the Alien sequel... for all the wrong reasons.
The City of Lost Children is a dark and disturbing fairytale. I could easily see why a Hollywood studio would drool over the thought of getting Jeunet…
If Tim Burton had a nightmare after watching 2001: A Space Odyssey, it would probably have turned out something like The City of Lost Children. Set in a twisted, cyberpunk, surrealist alternate post-apocalyptic reality, The City of Lost Children features more imagination per square inch then the average year's worth of films combined. The story follows One, a circus strongman who goes on a quest to save his little brother from the clutches of a mad scientist trying to steal the dreams of children. Along the way he joins forces with a tough young orphan named Miette, and meets a host of odd and colorful characters.
I could fill up a small novel just listing off some of the strange…
The City of Lost Children's surrealism is both charming and disturbing. A steampunk fairytale from directors Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro, the film is a plethora of peculiar characters and settings. On an oil rig in the middle of an ocean reside an assortment of failed "experiments" belonging to a missing genius. These include a diminutive woman named Miss Bismuth, a brain in a tank nicknamed Uncle Irvin, six clones (played by the brilliant Dominique Pinon), an assemblage of cyclopses with acute hearing, and finally the humanoid Krank, whose despair at not being able to dream is the catalyst for much of the action.
Add to this the former Russian sailor One (whose little brother is kidnapped by Krank), and…
"Once upon a time there was an inventor so gifted that he could create life. A truly remarkable man."
Jean-Pierre Jeunet The City of Lost Children is a nightmarish fairy tale, that I would love to dream every night.
Jean-Pierre Jeunet has an eye for detail and specially and eye for creating immersive worlds, where the line of fantasy and reality is a very thing blurry line.
Jeunet cinematography is beautiful and rich, when you watch The City of Lost Children you get transported to a gritty, nasty place, that you don't want to leave.
Ron Pearlman as Mr. One, is as always great, what can I say…
Bonkers mix of Ronald Dahl, Terry Gilliam and Inception in this dreams oddity. Grew on me...but from a very low start. Not anywhere near my sort of film. Quirky Sci Fi fans will probably lap this up.
Embargoed until May 17, 1995.
Visually this one of the most impressive movies I have ever seen. All of the sets are completely unique and look to be from some sort of dystopian steam punk alternate universe.
The story is way out in left field. A strong man looking for his missing kid brother who has been kidnapped by a band of clones because a brain in a fish tank told them it may help a really creepy old man dream. There are trained fleas that ride dogs and inject poison, a set of siamese twins that are training a brood of child pick pockets, a man who lives under the sea collecting and cataloging things that the townspeople through in the water. There is…
Beautiful quirkiness! Like Jean-Pierre Jeunet's later film Amélie you could mute the sound of this movie and lose yourself in it's arresting visuals. This is a lovely movie with so many interesting characters. The score is wonderful too. Too often, I see movies like this and feel like my younger self had bad taste in movies 'cause I never got to this see stuff like this until I got older. Thankfully, these movies are still around for people to enjoy!
Good not great fantasy movie. A bit weird but cool character designs. Hard to follow sometimes. Overall a fun movie.
Twenty years on, this is just as bizarre and oddly touching as it ever was.
Other than Luc Besson, Jean-Pierre Juenet is the only other French filmmaker that I truly enjoy. There's something about his art direction and ability to build a story that really engages me.
I remember when I first saw this film, I was blown away. Not since Brazil had I experienced such a strange and fantastical world. Everything is displayed through a mental fish eye, where the viewer is always just put off by an inch or two. You never feel secure or stable. The opening with the room full of Santas makes me uneasy, and then later on when Santa makes a second appearance, that sense of uneasiness returns, just hoping that things don't take a bad turn.
Couple things I found interesting here:
Ron Pearlman looks so young and it's strange to hear French coming out of his mouth
This looks so much like a Terry Gilliam film
Many favorites, as well as a small handful of films that I don't care for... in no particular order (1960-2014).
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014, now updated every mid-April.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the…