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.
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…
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…
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…
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…
"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 the dude was made for roles like this,…
This movie was really weird. But even with that said it was still a whole lot of fun for one like myself to watch. At this moment I could even say it's my favourite film by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (I'm not as in love with Amélie like I know most are), because his weird style seems to fit in best with whatever it is that he's created here. He's provided a rather nice concept here and in the very end what I got was something I enjoyed very highly. The visual style is wonderful and it enhances the experience of the film a lot more. I don't even know how else I can describe it, but I guess I can leave off saying that it was just such a fun time for someone like myself, and a rather nice surprise, too.
I would have liked to like this movie more, but unfortunately most of the time I had no idea what is going on. Well I got the main plot, there is a mad scientist Krank who orders some people to steal children so that he could use the dreams of children to see dreams again. Unfortunately for him, the children fear this unknown kidnapper so much that they see nothing but nightmares and so he can't get sleep. That is what I understood, the rest was confusing, surrealistic stream of consciousness which was funny and interesting at times.
I liked the visual side of this movie, it looked very individual and awesome. It also was more distressing than most horror…
Portuguese BR: Ladrão de Sonhos
Puf. Bioshock, though...
One of my favorite atmospheric movies of all time.
Cannes Film Festival : Competition
Stockholm Film Festival: Competition
César Awards, France - Won:
Best Production Design (Meilleurs décors)
César Awards, France - Nomination:
Best Cinematography (Meilleure photographie)
Best Costume Design (Meilleurs costumes)
Best Music Written for a Film (Meilleure musique)
Goya Awards - Nomination:
Best Special Effects (Mejores Efectos Especiales)
Okay, there are a lot of decisions I probably wouldn't have made in 'City of Lost Children', but none of them are visual, because this film is one of the most boldly vivid and auteur visual spectacles from concept to art direction to shooting, in the history of cinema. Seriously, I rank 'The City of Lost Children' alongside 'Metropolis' or 'The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari' on purely visual stakes.
The plot, however, is a crowded and noisy marketplace of ideas rather than a slick boutique, and several could have been excised to make a more svelte, less chaotic movie. Too many characters, too many antagonist groups, and some perplexing scenes detract from what is otherwise a charming, sweet, fun, and whimsical plotline that seamlessly blends a Saturday morning cartoon, with Charles Dickens in an undeniably French style.
Sweet story, great characters, benchmark aesthetic, strong recommendation.
A dark fairy tail with some really intense and interesting visuals. The story seems like something right out of a Grimm book. Only wish the story was more focused - had a lot of potential here but lost it along the way.
So much to love.
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…
Many favorites, as well as a small handful of films that I don't care for... in no particular order (1960-2014).