Thursday, October 21, 2010

118. Delicatessen (1991)


Nobody is entirely evil: it's that circumstances that make them evil, or they don't know they are doing evil.

As we approach the years of my budding film addiction, this blog is going to get taken over by my favorite directors. One of the most important things I learned while making my way through college one "rent-one-get-one-free" at a time, was that the most important clue to the quality of a movie was the director. Not the stars, the genre, or the trailer, but the man behind the camera. With this is mind, I have compiled a list of guys that pretty much haven't missed in my mind when it comes to helming feature films. They are Quentin Tarantino, the Coens, Richard Linklater, Kevin Smith, Baz Luhrmann, Paul Thomas Anderson, and (today's subject) Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

Technically this film was only co-directed by Jeunet along with Marc Caro, but he would venture out on his own after his first couple teaming with Caro (and from what I can tell he didn't lose much...). The best way I can describe Jeunet's filmmaking is that he tells a slow story with attention given to the most minute details at a lightning fast pace. I know that sounds strange, but, trust me, that is the case. "Delicatessen" is a dark comedy about a post-apocalyptic society where food is treated like currency. Even to the extent that the "deli" in question serves up a feast of human flesh every chance it gets. Still, don't let this movie fool you, it is not your run-of-the-mill slasher flick. It is a quirky look at the lengths people will go for power, food, and love. Even if you don't feel like reading the subtitles, this movie is worth it just for the stunning visuals. It's capability to transport you into this alternate universe without the use of fancy CGI is uncanny.

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