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aka - Cité Des Enfants Perdus, La
France/Germany/Spain 1995
Directed by
Jean-PierreJeunet / Marc Caro
112 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2 stars

The City Of Lost Children

Krank (Daniel Emilfork), who is unable to dream and is aging too quickly as a result has developed a technique to view and capture children's dreams. He kidnaps tykes from the nearby village and brings them to his lair, aided by his brothers who are clones of each other.  One day strong man, One (Ron Perlman), and his little brother are ambushed by Krank's men and One's little brother is carried off. One sets out on a quest to find his brother, meeting Miette (Judith Vittet), an orphan girl along the way.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro's film is visually arresting and very impressive for its inventive special effects (which is Jeunet’s department, Caro being the story man) but it lacks the brio and charm of their debut film and cult hit, Delicatessen. While reproducing the off-beat sensibility of that film, it overindulges in the macabre and repugnant which was there held in check and the final effect is technically brilliant but emotionally empty.




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