Sunday, January 06, 2008


Delicatessen DVD cover

In post-holocaust France, hungry people turn to each other for food. The local butcher (played by Jean-Claude Dreyfus) is handing out human joints in exchange for corn and wheat. He also regularly advertises for a lodger/handyman to supplement his supply of fresh meat. Vegetarians form an underground resistance movement ... living underground in the sewers.

The plot of French film Delicatessen!


Delicatessen - up for the chop?

But the butcher’s daughter (Marie-Laure Dougnac) falls in love with the latest lodger – a clown (Dominique Pinon) whose gorilla was kidnapped and eaten. She can no longer go along with her father’s actions and seeks help from the resistance to rescue her beloved.

I love one of IMDB’s trivia factoids:

Jean-Pierre Jeunet got the idea for a cannibal butcher when living in an apartment above a butcher's shop. Each morning at 7am he would hear the metallic clash of knives and a voice shout, "Chop chop!" His girlfriend said he was carving up the neighbours, and it would be their turn next week.
Delicatessen - underground rebels

It’s surreal, funny, and very inventive. From Jean-Pierre Jeunet who went on to direct Amélie. A worthy precursor of The Science of Sleep (La Science des rêves). From the opening dustbin scene to the flooding baptismal finale and the closing rooftop concert - a classic French film from 1991. But still fresh today.

Recommended - and down from £19.99 to £3.98 on Amazon UK at time of posting! (Just forgive the lack of sync when they play the cello and the saw.)


Anonymous said...

Jeez, I've not seen this in years. Have you seen Jeunet's other well known film, The City Of Lost Children - it's a fairy tale for adults and once again is both imaginative and bizarre. Oh, and like all Jeunet films, it seems, Dominique Pinon. All six of him.

Alan in Belfast (Alan Meban) said...

A Very Long Engagement is already borrowed and awaiting a viewing, and I guess I'll catch up with The City of Lost Children at some point in the future!

Admin said...

for those who like French films, I certainly suggest children of paradise. It is one of the greatest films ever made.

Mead said...

So many good films here to comment on, but Jeunet and Caro always stand out and Delicatessen is one of their more 'delicious' films. The visuals were so implanted in my head I had to pay tribute via music mashup to Hybrid, which Im sure many will hate. can be seen on youtube at

Check out Chris Marker, esp 'La Jetee'...


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