Tuesday, May 26, 2009

City of Lost Children


CITY OF LOST CHILDREN is a dystopian steam punk fairy tale by French filmmakers Mark Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet and stars Ron Perlman as the only recognizable actor. If not for his ability to morph himself into other characters so totally I would have been disappointed to see him in this. As it is though he grounds the picture in some kind of reality as we experience his POV as he searches the back alleys and polluted waterways of a terminally dark European city for his ‘little brother’ who has been kidnapped by a mad scientist obsessed with the dreams of children. He believes that such dreams will give him immortality. Joining this circus strongman in his quest is a female street orphan named Miette. Everything is this movie reminds me of the Dave McKean covers that were done for Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comic and the story has many Gaimanesque qualities from evil sideshow Siamese twins to fleas that carry poisons that allow the villains to control the minds of our hero. The movie is heavily influence by steam punk design especially in the character of the evil Cyclopes who wear borg-like visual devices that give them enhanced sight and hearing and the brain of ‘Uncle’ the original scientist that is encased in a wood grain box aquarium complete with brass fixtures and ear trumpets. I have to admit that I have a weakness for movies like this. It reminds me of Dark City, another film that defies easy understanding or explanation. It is very European in its approach to story telling and like any good fairy tale it can have several interpretations. So if you like amazing visuals and quirky stories in the same vein as 'Pan’s Labyrinth' you should check out ‘City of Lost Children’. Thanx to Lisa Mynx for the obscure recommend or I would have never found this gem.


1 comment:

Wings said...

Very interesting. I have never even heard of this movie. I think Ron Perlman is a great, underrated actor. Definitey worth a look-see. Thanks for the heads up!