movie film review | chris tookey


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  Delicatessen Review
Tookey's Rating
6 /10
Average Rating
7.42 /10
Dominique Pinon, Marie-Laure Dougnac, Jean-Claude Dreyfus

Directed by: Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Marc Caro
Written by: Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Marc Caro, Gilles Adrien

Released: 1991
Origin: France
Colour: BW
Length: 97

A clown (Dominique Pinon) falls in love with the innocent, short-sighted daughter (Marie-Laure Dougnac) of a butcher (Jean-Claude Dreyfus) whose greatest delicacy is human flesh.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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A bizarre, visually stunning film. Although obvious influences include Rene Clair, Marcel Carne and (more recently) Terry Gilliam, David Lynch and the Coen brothers, first-time directors Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro orchestrate the action and camera movements with their own style and panache. There is one extraordinary sequence where the rhythm of the butcher's love-making is gradually picked up by all the residents of a tenement block in their daily pursuits: a tour de force of shooting and editing.

The good aspects are so good that it seems churlish to point out that the plot is as structurally unsound as the tenement block. The background is needlessly confusing (why if it's the future, for example, are there only nostalgic black and white programmes on TV?). The motives of the characters are as foggy as the exteriors, and change without much reason. Ultimately the film is too cleaver by half: an empty exercise in style, directorial exhibitionism and intentional bad taste. Still, it's bloody good fun - and if these directors were to stumble across a decent screenplay, the results could be outstanding. Though it baffled many members of the public, the critics were quick to embrace it.

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