Jean-Pierre Jeunet (director of Amélie) and Marc Caro take on the sci-fi genre with 1995's The City of Lost Children, a transfixing entry in the Production Design category of our Cinematic Essentials series.
An abandoned oil rig contains the lair of the sinister Krank (Daniel Emilfork), who shares the space with his many creations. Ailed by his inability to dream, Krank conjures up a machine to extract the dreams from children kidnapped for him by an elite team of cyborgs. It is only after Denree (Joseph Lucien), younger brother of local carnival strongman One (Ron Perlman), gets kidnapped that a vast rescue operation goes underway, no matter how strange the journey may get.
Featuring production design by Caro and Jean Rabasse and an original score by Angelo Badalamenti, The City of Lost Children is a wickedly imaginative romp, made distinctive by Jeunet and Caro's naturally stylistic touch.
“Few films […] capture the spirit of steampunk with as much peculiar daring and imagination […]” - Isaac Feldberg, Inverse
“Set in a wondrously seedy waterfront world populated with runaway children and grotesque, sinister adults, it glistens with dense fantasies, technological feats that make the catch-phrase 'state of the art' seem antique.” - Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
“[W]ith each frame filled to bursting point with visual detail and multiplaned design, plus razor-sharp cutting that often eliminates transitions, it's not a movie you can afford to take your eyes off for a second.” - Derek Elley, Variety
- Rating R
- Running time 108
- Released 05-29-2022
- Genre Science Fiction