And so, to comply with the second popular demand (of one), today's blog will be film-related (never let it be said that your humble Baldy Fella doesn't listen to his audience). As comes as no surprise, I tend to notice specific film directors and look out for their films. It could that I like their style or their substance or, in some cases, both but, generally, once I've picked up on a director, I'll follow them until they interest me no more (and, even then, I'll normally keep giving them the benefit of the doubt until they consistently keep missing the mark for me). So, I was pleased to see that there's a new film by Jean-Pierre Jeunet called MICMACs debuting at this year's London Film Festival.
"Who he?" I hypothetically pretend I can hear some of you asking. Well, I shall tell you by describing some of his previous films and why I do like them so.
Delicatessen - In a nutshell:- Twisted, post-apocalyptic, cannibalistic fun. With and directed alongside Marc Caro, this very much sets out their visual and comedic style with a bleakly comic tale about a young man who begins working for a butcher in a future where meat is very scarce... Favourite sequence? The often imitated sex scene in which the activities of the residents in the department builds in time with the lovemaking to a frantic crescendo.
City Of Lost Children - In a nutshell:- The French equivalent of a Terry Gilliam fantasy. Again collaborating with Marc Caro, the two craft a distinctive world peopled by a fascinating selection of grotesques in which simple giant One and cynical little girl Miette search for One's lost little brother. Favourite moment? Dominque Pinon's portrayal of a selection of clones afflicted by narcolepsy.
Amelie - In a nutshell:- One of my favouritest films ever. I've blathered on about this one plenty of times before but basically it's a romantic comedy that manages to be stylish, funny and touching without being nauseatingly, vomit-inducingly sentimental like most other romcoms. Favourite moment? Any point of the film which features Audrey Tautou's lovely face (so most of it, really). And he trots out another funny sex scene in this one, too.
Alien Resurrection - In a nutshell:- Not as bad as it should be but still not that great. Jeunet makes the leap to Hollywood for the fourth Alien film and, while he manages to inject it with some of his distinctive style, it's still the least successful of the Alien films.
A Very Long Engagement - In a nutshell:- Good but somehow the least engaging of his films so far. It's a more straightforward tale and once again features a great performance form Audrey Tautou (is it obvious that I fancy her quite a bit? Hmm, yeah, thought so) but somehow seem to be lacking slightly in the stylish little directorial touches that make his stuff so distinctive. It's an enjoyable film but doesn't quite live up to his previous efforts.
So, as far as I can see, he hasn't made a bad film (Alien resurrection was average at worst) and, if you haven't caught any of the above, I sincerely recommend that you try Delicatessen, City Of Lost Children and Amelie, the last one probably being the most accessible. And I for one will definitely be giving MICMACs a look when it comes out.