The City of Lost Children (1995) [DVD]
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Surreal French film set on a futuristic oil rig, where a man, Krank, has aged prematurely, because he has lost the ability to dream. To reverse the ageing process he kidnaps children from the local harbour town so that he can steal their dreams.
The fantastic visions of Belgian film-makers Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet find full fruition in this fairy tale for adults. Evoking utopias and dystopias from Brazil to Peter Pan, Caro and Jeunet create a vivid but menacing fantasy city in a perpetually twilight world. In this rough port town lives circus strongman One (Ron Perlman), who wanders the alleys and waterfront dives looking for his little brother, snatched from him by a mysterious gang preying upon the children of the town. Rising from the harbour is an enigmatic castle where lives the evil scientist Krank (Daniel Emilfork), who has lost the ability to dream and robs the nocturnal visions of the children he kidnaps, but receives only mad nightmares from the lonely cherubs. Other wild characters include the Fagin-like Octopus--Siamese twin sisters who control a small gang of runaways-turned-thieves--Krank's six cloned henchmen (all played by the memorable Dominique Pinon from Delicatessen), and a giant brain floating in an aquarium (voiced by Jean-Louis Trintignant). Caro and Jeunet are kindred souls to Terry Gilliam (who is a vocal fan), creating imaginative flights of fancy built of equal parts delight and dread, which seem to be painted on the screen in rich, dreamy colours. --Sean Axmaker, Amazon.com --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
Top customer reviews
On a tower out to sea a mad-man 'Krank' (Daniel Emilfork)directs his men to go to shore and steal young
children off the streets and their homes, his purpose is to steal their dreams, he has a plan.
We have a 'Fagan' like school to train the young to steal which is run by two grotesque mad-woman from
which a young girl 'Miette' ( Judith Vittette) seeks to find her young brother who had been taken, she
crosses paths with former whaler and strong-man 'One' (Ron Pearlman) who is really a big-softie and will
help 'Miette' rescue her brother and indeed the other children that are held at the tower.
Have to say this is an unusual film with many different and indeed weird characters...the film is a cross
between madness and dare i say genius.
The Film is in French with English Sub-Titles.
Commentary with Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Actor Ron Perlman
The making of the City of Lost Children
Archives of Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Interview with Jean-Paul Gautier
The answer is to buy the widescreen video version, as this is in the original french with subtitles. But if you buy the standard version (like me) or the dvd you will only hear English.
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