MV5BMTg1OTk5OTM5Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjM5MzI4OA@@._V1_SY317_CR1,0,214,317_AL_What’s it all about?

In “La cité des enfants perdus” (original title as helpfully pointed out by IMDb)

A scientist in a surrealist society kidnaps children to steal their dreams, hoping that they slow his ageing process.

That is the process by which he becomes old, rather than his elderly process. Sloppy grammar.

Why did I want to watch it?

I saw this at the National Film Theatre (I believe) in London many years ago when it was first released and fell in love with its gothic steampunk aesthetic then and there. We had been talking about re-watching this for some time and finally got our hands on a decent DVD version and it was my birthday so the time had definitely come.

What made it worth re-watching?

Apart from the as-described-above aesthetic?

  • It has Ron Perlman in it – yes, Hellboy himself, playing the very muscular hero
  • there are clones
  • there is a brain in a tank
  • there are intelligent children of a criminal nature
  • our heroine, Miette, is both lovely and brave
  • there are evil conjoined twins
  • the costumes are by Jean-Paul Gaultier (which once realised you kick yourself for not having noticed)

It’s a wonderfully dark twisted fairytale of a story in which the good are (mostly) rewarded and the bad (mainly) get their comeuppance. Best seen in the original French with appropriate subtitles for ultimate effect.

Not entirely sure what happened to Caro but his joint director, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, went on to make Amelie amongst others (though it should be noted that the others did include Alien: Resurrection over which purists would prefer we cast a veil but I *whispers* quite enjoyed it).

I know I will go back to this again.

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