BluChristmas #52: Delicatessen (1991)

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Set in a post-apocalyptical France, Delicatessen (1991) is Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Michel Caro’s very personal version of Sweeney Todd. Times are harsh and food is scarce. Louison, a retired clown, manages to get himself hired as a handy man by the landlord of an old building, who also is a butcher.

Whilst the story does not have much novelty over the original text, the quirky charm of Jeunet and Caro’s universe will probably transport you to new cinematographic lands. The sound effects, enhanced by the high-quality of the Blu-Ray, are unbelievably hypnotizing: who would have thought a musical saw and a cello could make a perfect duet?

Released 10 years before the very successful Amelie (2001), Delicatessen is also a tale depicting a fantasized France. Snails and Frogs are eaten raw in the damp basement by an old scary man, and everyone in the building seems to enjoy the type of meat they are offered – but why not ? We are talking about people who willingly eat horse meat after all.

Delicatessen (1991), directed by Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, is released on Blu-ray by Studio Canal Collection. Certificate 15. 

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Ex-Film Editor and future ex-MA student, dissecting films since 2006.

1 Comment

  1. avatar
    James Chadwick on

    I had the pleasure of watching this film for the first time last week.

    With some deliberation I decided that I did in fact enjoy it. That’s no surprise as it’s a film that really makes you think, as you break down the initially bizarre figure of Dominique Pinon’s character Louison.

    It’s definitely a must for any fans of Amélie. The striking visual style and twisted yet strangely gentle plot show it to be something of a prototype for the modern masterpiece that is Amélie.

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