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The City of Lost Children, 1995

The City of Lost Children was the second movie of Jeunet’s which I watched and was one of the first movies I sought out specifically because of the director.  It has since become one of my all-time favorites movies.  It can best be described as an adult fairy tale with vivid imagery of mechanisms reminiscent of Brazil, the ever-present Dominique Pinon, and American actor Ron Perlman.

This movie presents us with a surreal world that is specifically not placed within any particular place or any particular time.  The main topic of the movie is that a scientist named Krank (Daniel Emilfork) who lives on a floating laboratory with his family is not able to dream and is experimenting with a variety of methods, most of which are very questionable in their safety and very likely to harm their test subjects.

The scientist kidnaps children from a nearby unnamed city to study them and what makes them able to dream.  One of the last children to be kidnapped in this fashion is Miette (played by Judith Vittet) who has recently befriended a gentle giant named One (Ron Perlman).  The two quickly become friends and when Miette is kidnapped we follow the adventure of One through the fantastic sets and unimaginable worlds to save her from the scientist.