Thursday, 20 May 2010

Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Described as France’s answer to Terry Gilliam Jean-Pierre Jeunet is a director and writer whose work could be described as a cross between black comedy, fantasy drama and romantic fables? Along with designer Marc Caro they created Delicatessen (1991) a very dark comedy set in an apartment block during a post-apocalyptic food shortage, where the butcher/landlord creates cannibalistic meals for his strange tenants.
Their next film together was The City of Lost Children (1995) about a mad Doctor who kidnaps children to steal their dreams. Among them is the little brother of a carnival strongman (played by Hellboy actor Ron Perlman) who sets out to rescue him with the help of other young children.
Following these two movies Jeunet made the sci-fi film Alien Resurrection (1997) and the significantly more successful Amelie (2001) a romantic fable starring Audrey Tautou, A Very Long Engagement (2004), a World War1 romantic mystery, also featuring Tautou, followed. The extremely enjoyable Micmacs (2009) is his latest, which is a similar to both Delicatessen and City of Lost Children with their eye opening sets, unique costumes and bizarre but well drawn characters. All three movies have very inventive story lines but City of Lost Children can be confusing at times and probably would reward more than one viewing.

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