Friday, September 16, 2011
FRANCE --- science fiction
Dir: Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Taking place in an undisclosed post-apocalyptic future where the currency is divided among seeds, grain, and other food, the tale properly begins with a man named Louison (director pet Dominique Pinon) being dropped off in front of an isolated rundown tenement. He inquires about an ad looking for a building handyman with the owner and manager, a butcher of the delicatessen named Clapet. He is quickly blown off. However, Clapet, quickly changes his mind and takes on Louison anyway. From the opening we see that the butcher gets his meat from people, yet interestingly enough, no one seems to notice or ask questions in this dim future world. It's possible everyone (the few tenants left) is just turning a blind eye.
"Delicatessen" is a somewhat delightful though quirky film to watch. I have enjoyed Jean-Pierre Jeunet's films so far, and it's always an interesting study to return to the fast and loose early days of his cinematic resume. This film in particular floats through a whimsical Bernard Hermann-esque score and a myriad collection of funny noises and music from that joyous kind of circus music to the a classic scene with bed springs in tune to Hawaiian ukulele music. I would also note that this film has a sense of inspiration from a classic Hong Kong film called "House of 72 Tenants", with a similar story set in contemporary times, but no sci-fi elements at all.