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The City of Lost Children
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|Genre||Foreign, Drama, Fantasy|
|Format||Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen, Anamorphic, Full Screen|
|Contributor||Geneviève Brunet, Serge Merlin, Mapi Galán, Odile Mallet, Jean-Claude Dreyfus, Pivot, Alexis, Vittet, Judith, Daniel Emilfork, Briac Barthelemy, Ticky Holgado, Rubion, Léo, Pinon, Dominique, Pierre-Quentin Faesch, Marc Caro, Joseph Lucien, Ron Perlman, Mireille Mossé, Rufus, Guillaume Billod-Morel, Jean-Pierre Jeunet See more|
|Runtime||1 hour and 52 minutes|
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One of the most unique and visually stunning films in years, The City of Lost Children concerns a malevolent scientist who attempts to unlock the mystery of dreaming. To this end, he kidnaps young children and studies them as they sleep. From Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the director of Amelie and Alien: Resurrection.
- Aspect Ratio : 1.85:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : R (Restricted)
- Product Dimensions : 0.7 x 7.5 x 5.4 inches; 3.2 Ounces
- Item model number : MFR043396400191#VG
- Director : Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen, Anamorphic, Full Screen
- Run time : 1 hour and 52 minutes
- Release date : October 19, 1999
- Actors : Briac Barthelemy, Guillaume Billod-Morel, Geneviève Brunet, Marc Caro, Jean-Claude Dreyfus
- Dubbed: : French, Spanish
- Subtitles: : English, Spanish, French
- Language : Unqualified, English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
- Studio : Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
- ASIN : B00000K3TS
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #74,008 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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One finds himself tangled up with a band of street kids, thieves and pickpockets, who are enslaved by Siamese twins named la Pieuvre. He manages to enlist the help of Miette, one of the older girls in the gang. If you boiled the movie down to basics, it would be One and Miette looking for Denree, but City Of Lost Children is not a simple movie.
'City' is a complex and sometimes confusing film, but is so richly done and bizarrely plotted that it is entertainment at its surreal finest. Krank (Daniel Emilfork) was created, along with his 'brother', Irvin, who is nothing more than a brain in a green tinged fishtank. His 'mother' is a midget, and his 'brothers', five clones (all played by talented Dominique Pinon) wait on him hand and foot. Krank and his strange entourage live on a dark and creepy platform out in the ocean, surrounded by mines that protect them.
Back in the squalor of the city, One and Miette are pursued by the greedy la Pieuvre, who winds out utilizing the resources from her old circus days, a worn out opium addict with an amazing flea circus. His fleas are trained to inject a poison into targets, the fluid being activated when an old hand-cranked music box is played. And Miette winds out meeting a strange, fanatical man who lives underwater, salvaging treasures from the sea floor.
There are many, many fantastical things for you to see in this film, but I have a few words of caution before you begin. First of all, this is a French film, and the dialogue is French. I strongly recommend watching the movie in the original dialogue with English subtitles, rather than watching the dubbed version. You will loose a lot of emotion in the inadequately dubbed voices.
Don't expect feats of FX either. City Of Lost Children has the feel of a play, using expert sets and backdrops, and winds out being a visually stunning treat with good, old fashioned sets rather than a lot of CGI. The costumes are marvelous, the photography is stunning (note: Daniel Emilfork is rather evil looking anyway, with his bald head, large nose, and large teeth, but the camera is utilized in a curved view to make him even more menacing) but the script is a little bit disjointed. All of these features combined mark a distinctive feel of bizarreness throughout the entire film.
Also to note, there are a couple of amazing sequences in the film, one in which we follow the events caused by a single teardrop, and another where we follow the journey of a flea.
City Of Lost Children is a film only for those who enjoy a taste of the bizarre, love to stroke their fingers down the spine of the surreal, and believe that off-the-wall is a livable realm. If this is you, then you will love this film as much as I did. Enjoy!
The commentary track is really quite insightful and pleasant. Ron Perlman shares helpful information that is doubly enjoyable when you listen to him. His comments reveal an intelligent, articulate, and compassionate man who is also very respectful of the directors and other actors in the film. The director, whose English at times is a little difficult to understand due to his very strong French accent, also offers choice tidbits of information, especially regarding the actors in the film, one of whom he said is actually better known as a singer in his native country (but perhaps only to people in his country!). The information about sets and design doesn't really interest me in commentaries because sometimes that information detracts from my enjoyment of the fantasy. In other words, I don't always want to know how something was done or how much it cost, but occasionally it is interesting.
The story of the film was never really explained by the director in the commentary track, and Ron Perlman even commented on how difficult it is to understand it, which he admitted he never fully did. However, Perlman's portrayal of the character he played in the film (his name is "One") is appropriately gentle and kind, so he obviously understood that much of the film VERY well!
The children in the film were awesome!
The DVD video quality is very good when played on an upscaling blu-ray player and the audio quality is good too. There is also some hauntingly beautiful music played in various sections of the film, and the selection played during the end credits is terrific!
I have wanted to view this film for years but never willing to pay a lot for a DVD version (would have preferred Blu-ray, but that doesn't exist...yet), so when I was able to purchase it directly from Amazon for $7.99, I took the plunge! If you don't mind reading subtitles, you might enjoy this film as much as I!
The movie is like a dream gone wrong, a long feverish nightmare with moments of extreme beauty and (family oriented, non-sexual) loving connections between a little girl and the father figure she never had. While they take on a freakish cyber-punk cult and a comical yet evil group of clones and scientists as well as a madman diver who is the unknown center of all this strife.
In summation: a real and deep actual meaningfull plot and story wrapped up in a darkly pretty pre-steampunk package.
Watch in original FRENCH with english SUBTITLES or else be exposed to a spoiled and idiotic DUBBED disaster.
Top reviews from other countries
The only downside to the Sony version is that the sound is in stereo, whereas this one claims to be 5.1 - not sure what sound format the original film had, but even if it was originally in surround, it's an acceptable loss as far as I'm concerned if that's what it takes to get subtitles that look like they were written by a fluent speaker of both French and English who had actually watched the film they went with.
Additionally, the commentary track in the Sony version has contributions from both Jeunet and Perlman, whereas this one has just Jeunet.
One final note: some reviewers apparently dislike this film because of its direction and editing; its fitful pacing and meandering plot. Do bear in mind that the entire theme of the film is one of dreams and nightmares; I think it's quite deliberate and appropriate that the film itself plays out, not like a tightly-scripted thriller, but just like a dream, unpredictably lurching back and forth between idle, fantastical whimsy and tense, trippy nightmare, just as a good few of the film's cast of grotesques lurch back and forth between sympathetic and alien, endearing and terrifying. The whole day-dreamy, freaky-carnival feel will likely be somewhat familiar to, say, fans of Fellini, Gilliam or Svankmajer.
The hunt for adults to have nice dreams is an unattainable prospect all the time.
Its well acted by the whole cast.. Good tos see
Hellboy aunatural. not as the big red bad boy