Delicatessen

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A review of the 1991 film "Delicatessen"

I went out today and saw the 1991 French movie Delicatessen, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro.   It really is an amazing film, a surreal, dark comedy, fantasy, set in a post-apocalyptic world about the various bizarre and grotesque inhabitants of an apartment building, where new tenants often find themselves being carved up and sold in the butcher shop owned by the landlord (played by Jean-Claude Dreyfus).  The latest tenant is good-natured ex-circus clown Louison (played by Dominique Pinon).   Louison attracts the attention of the butcher's daughter, Julie (Marie-Laure Dougnac), who determines to save him from being turned into the Sunday roast.   

 

Despite  a murky palette of mostly browns and greens, it's visually stunning.   It's often very funny as well, with some beautifully choreographed physical comedy.  It creates an entire world of it's own inside this apartment block, while the world outside is, more or less, just hinted at.  Despite the subject matter and bleak world, it is a film that is full of joy.  

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