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The City of Lost Children (1995) August 4, 2006

Posted by Eury in Adventure, Drama, Movies, Sci-Fi.

The movie Tim Burton would have made if he were French

Dir. Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Starring: Ron Perlman, Daniel Emilfork, Judith Vittet, Dominique Pinon and Joseph Lucien etc.,

Although this has nothing to do directly with the story, I thought I’d let you know that I really had no preconceived notions at all before viewing this movie and you may find it mildly amusing why. I had somehow gotten into my head (how and why, I don’t know) that we were going to watch some sort of Japanese saga probably about some kids that were going to be whisked away from their parents and brought to a Buddhist monastery in Tibet to see who their future “from God’s mouth to their ears” semi-deity would be. Well, I was completely wrong, of course, because this movie is nothing of the sort. It’s a mysterious, very creative and wonderfully bizarre adventure.

The movie starts off like a dream that quickly turns into a nightmare where orphan children are taught and used to do robberies, and where Krank (Daniel Emilfork) kidnaps children to try and steal their innocent dreams as he has none of his own and is aging prematurely because of it.

Ron Perlman plays One, a retired sailor (who couldn’t catch another whale after he heard one sing) who with the help of Miette (Judith Vittet) tries to find Denrée (Joseph Lucien), aptly named because he loves to eat , who has been taken by Krank’s goons. Although blind, they have electronic night-vision goggles attached directly to their brains which seem to have some sort of radar that points them towards vulnerable children. They sweep them up into a weird and wild looking car that has, on each side, an eye within a pyramid, the “all-seeing eye”, that is used to help capture and entrap the children that are stolen. This movie is full of whacky and eerie characters including Krank’s 4 cloned brothers, Siamese twins and a brain suspended in an aquarium.

Miette, Eyed vehicle and the Brain

The elements in this movie are incredibly marvelous and it probably needs to be seen more than once to appreciate all the oddball apparatuses and quirky little details especially if you do not understand French and have to keep your eye on the sub-titles.

I thought the casting in this movie was exceptional. Krank’s smile could easily strike terror into anyone and Miette made me think of a young Amélie Poulain, not surprisingly, as she’s also the brain-child of Jean-Pierre Jeunet, co-writer and co-director of this movie.

This movie is very different from the fairytale fables typically spewed out of Hollywood (althought there a few great ones) that we are used to; instead it is magnificent, melancholic, dark and unforgettable.

This is Her review, you can read His review here

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