Monday 1 June 2009

Delicatessen [1991]

A post-apocalyptic world where humans have taken to cannibalism for survival, is tailor-made for a gore filled horror flick. Instead what we have here is a darkly comic fantasy fable filled with bizarre visual beauty, and a fascinating work on absurdism (in a way, cinematic version of nonsense verse) – aspects which earned it cult status. The first feature film of French wunderkinds Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro, Delicatessen is a fairy tale turned on its head. The entire story is set at a dank, derelict and dilapidated building, owned by a comically monstrous butcher, and filled with some of the most grotesque characters one can hope to see. And in this morbidly outlandish world develops a strangely touching romance between the gauche daughter of the butcher and a former circus clown (smartly played by Domique Pinon) who everyone wants to, well, eat. Like in Jeunet’s future solo films Amelie and A Very Long Engagement, it is filled with surreal imagery, pitch black humour, subtle pathos and enthralling visual beauty. The movie also boasts of one of the most brilliantly choreographed sequences that I've seen – watch the movie and you’ll immediately know which scene I’m referring to.

Directors: Jean-Pierre Jeunet & Marc Caro
Genre: Black Comedy/Fantasy/Absurdist Comedy/Avant-Garde/Experimental/Cult Movie
Language: French
Country: France

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