Saturday, July 25, 2009

The City of Lost Children

I can't really remember how I stumbled upon The City of Lost Children. I think it might have been a recommendation on Netflix. It seemed quite scary and old but was rated as a good foreign film which is my most watched genre. Old is something that I usually step away from though, especially black and white films. My viewings of black and white movies are almost always in a classroom environment. But anyways, TCOLC is not a black and white film so I added it only my Netflix queue.

The film's opening prominently features actor Dominique Pinon who is also in Amelie, one of my favorite films. (I say prominently because there are 4 of him.) This opening sets the tone of the movie as something bizarre, adventurous, and, somewhat, fun. Actors of the film are atypical in that they are not attractive or sexy; they are a bit strange looking with unusual behaviors and backgrounds.

I can't really say the story is anything special but the way the story was shot somewhat upped it. I guess it's similar to Pan's Labyrinth in that the style of the film really delivered the story. Depressing, dirty, tinted colors filled the film. The world that the film takes place is something like a dilapidated and crime-ridden carnival town. Orphans steal from adults and give their stolen goods to their caretakers who are also their teachers. Unfortunately, TCOLC didn't do it for me.

One moment in the film that I really enjoyed is the choreographed movements of the caretakers who are semi-siamese twins, attached at the foot. This one scene shows the two making food: one would hold up a cheese grater, the other would grate the cheese; one would hold a cucumber, the other would slice it; one would eat the food, the other would actually taste it. These rapid movements all take place in like two minutes and makes this part fun to watch. My reaction was that it probably took them a long time to practice for this one scene.

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