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The City of Lost Children

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A system of cells interlinked
The City of Lost Children
Jeunet and Caro




Unique. That is one word to describe the 1999 dark fairy tale The City of Lost Children by surrealist pair Juenet and Caro, the Belgian directing team that brought us Delicatessen and Amelie (as well as Alien Resurrection, which was a sole effort by Juenet). Dystopic cityscapes, warped dream sequences, and absolutely stunning visual effects all combine with some well played roles to bring the viewer on a bleak but hopeful adventure. When a little girl and a circus strongman (played wonderfully by Ron Perlman) set off to rescue a small boy who has been captured by the malicious Krank, a madman who can't dream bent on stealing the dreams of children.

Many times during the film I was taken aback by the absolutely stunning and original photography and set design that just fills this film from first frame to last. Alice and Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, Journey to the Center of the Earth. I was reminded of all these classic tales while watching, as this film instills that same sense of wonder that one got when watching/reading these classics as a child.

Not to mention the bizzare cast of characters that the unlikely duo meet on their journeys. From a conjoined twin who exploits children, to a drunken sideshow flea circus master, to the borg-like henchman of the sinister Krank, these characters come to life and whisk you away for an hour and a half to a dark and dreamy land rich with unique artistry.

One scene sticks in my mind, which starts with the shedding of a single tear, which sets into motion a chain of events that are expertly and artfully filmed in a two minute sequence that is one of the most creative and beautiful scenes I have ever witnessed. Really, watching this film for the art and set design alone is worth the time.

If there is a flaw in the film, it's that the story moves at an erratic pace and is not clearly set down for the viewer. Some of the people I watched it with were confused and annoyed at the loose style the story was told in. I get the feeling the european plot styling, which doesn't hit you over the head with storyline, might not be for everyone.

So if film that is more than story alone is your cup of tea, give this adventure a try. It is a rewarding experience that really leaves an impression and shows just what a creative team can do with a good cast, great imagination, and a camera. We watched the film in the original french with subs, I recommend doing the same.

Story B-
Production Design A+
Performances B+

Overall B+
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The Mad Prophet of the Movie Forums
Nice review. I really liked this movie. One of the best movies to look at I've ever seen. (Is it just me or did that last statement sound weird?)
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I never heard about this movie is it a horror movie?That picture and the title sounds scary!
What is it rated anyway R PG 13?
See you around!JM
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A system of cells interlinked
Originally Posted by Jackie Malfoy
I never heard about this movie is it a horror movie?That picture and the title sounds scary!
What is it rated anyway R PG 13?
See you around!JM
Not a horror movie at all. I think dystopic fairy tale would best describe it. It is definitely an art house type film. Not for everyone...

The movie is rated R, for some violence and intense situations. There is also some odd scenes with One and Meitte that could be misconstrued as intimate, although they aren't.



Originally Posted by Sedai
Not a horror movie at all. I think dystopic fairy tale would best describe it. It is definitely an art house type film. Not for everyone...

The movie is rated R, for some violence and intense situations. There is also some odd scenes with One and Meitte that could be misconstrued as intimate, although they aren't.
But it sounds more like my sister would like it then I would!
but I still like the picture it is cool I have to show it too my twin!
See you around!JM



Registered User
It is not a horror movie, that's sure. It can classified as a dark movie. In addition, the scene where the twins cook, is one of the all times best chareographies.
I would rate this one (A-) .
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I just ordered this for rental today (should come in the next 2 days) and I'm really looking forward to it, I love their previous work, especially the look of the films.

I looked at the back of the DVD case esterday, and I have to say it looks very weird, just my kind of film, can't wait

Nice Review, will see if I agree or not soon



Oh man, I totally forgot to reply.

I loved it, the sets and production design all round was absolutely amazing. Perlman was perfectally cast, but Pinon steals the show, really talented he is.

Its just the brilliant sets that make this film so enjoyable to watch.