Delicatessen * Jean-Pierre Jeunet (1991)

It had been far too long since I saw this brilliant comedy! Jeunet didn’t make a whole lot of films, but his “La Cité Des Enfents Perdus” (city of lost children) (1995) and his highly acclaimed “Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulin” (Amelie) (2001) definately belong to the highlights of the comedy genre (a genre I am not too fond off). Two years after Amélie there seems to be a new film coming up with the title “Un Long Dimanche De Fiançailles”.

But to “Delicatessen”. The story is about a post-apocalyptic France in which everybody does everything to get food. In one building lives the gruesome butcher Clapet (Jean-Claude Dreyfus) who hires young men to kill and eat and sell their meat after a few weeks of them doing small jobs around the house. His new worker is Louison (Dominique Pinon) used to be a clown in the circus and is as inventive as naive. I won’t tell you too much of the magnificent story. The film is full of contrasts. The atmosphere is always very grim caused by the idiotic characters, the colours and the stages. There are some extremely silly scenes and the humour is so subtle and brilliant that this is a funny film that doesn’t loose it’s grim atmosphere. The characters are berzerk, some scenes insane (a woman trying to kill herself in different ways, a girl that is almost blind, etc.), this is really a masterpiece.

Also great are the Lost Children that I really need to see again some time soon, another dark comedy of Jeunet. Amélie is much lighter (but no less funny) , so I don’t know what to expect from the upcoming film.

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