Friday, March 18, 2016

829. Delicatessen

Directed by Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Apparently Empire magazine has claimed this film is "simply essential viewing for vegetarians."  Speaking as a vegetarian, I would hardly call this a must see, although I guess we are portrayed as heroes/weirdos.  Seems about right.

In post apocalyptic France, food is scarce and used as currency. A butcher posts job opportunities in the local paper (because apparently that would still be a thing) in order to lure victims to his shop.  He then slaughters his "workers" and uses them for meat.  When a former clown applies for the job, the butcher is so impressed with his knife skills that he decides not to kill him right away.  This gives the clown time to start a romance with the butcher's daughter.  The whole thing is rather disgusting, but at least we don't have to see graphic clown sex.

This film is very delighted with its own strangeness, but I am not sure it entirely worked for me.  I didn't find it overly disturbing, but the absurdist humor really didn't work for me.  I suppose it would go in the Siskel and Ebert category of "Comedies That Didn't Make Us Laugh."  I guess its aim wasn't to crack the audience up; its intention was probably to blow us away with the odd visuals. Admittedly, it was unusual but overall, it was an ugly film that I wanted to look away from.

I can see some people loving this one.  I didn't, but hey, it was something different and that can satisfy the taste buds sometimes.  More than Dominique Pinon can, anyway.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

The year that this film takes place is approximately 12,150 CE.


  1. Ohhh .. sorry, I actually really liked this one. The 'vegetarian terrorists' were slightly odd, but in a nice way .. And I didn't see anything disgusting in the rather sweet love story between the daughter and our hero. They were both lonely outsiders who saw something kind in each other when surrounded by selfish cruel people.
    And, for the education of all you wired up IT savvy youngsters out there .. there was once upon a time BI (before internet) when things like flats, room shares were done by newspaper small adds (or postcards in shop windows)

    I was surprised by the date being set in the C130th .. just doesn't seem right. I mean, it's post apocalyptic .. but the C20th houses are still, just about, standing and functioning ..I always took the date to be , sort of 'a couple of years from now', with now being the late 90's.

  2. Agree with every word Ray said

    I don't think you're meant to think too deeply about the future date, hence it's such an extreme number. It's not really designed as an accurate prediction, just a premise that allows the (wonderful) film to unfold.

  3. I knew you guys would like this and I probably wouldn't. I should really set the two of you up!

  4. I am afraid I am joining the choir. I love this movie for all its weirdness. In all honesty it took two or three viewings to get there because it is all in the details.

    1. Did you not like it at all the first time? I might try it again if it gets a lot better after repeated viewings.

  5. I was actually weirded out the first time and it was only years later when I watched it again that I started liking it. Now I find it laugh out loud funny.

  6. Amanda, I will give you that my first time was at a cinema with highly appreciative audience, which always helps you get into something like this.

  7. Yes, that would probably help. Maybe in a couple years I will feel the same way TSorensen does.

  8. Ok, this is my first time with the movie and I admit the film is odd... but I have odd tastes :D

    It seems an homage to Terry Gilliam's films and I'm a huge fan of those. I was worried because of the cannibalism thing but nothing gross is actually seen. There are very funny moments like the one with the noisy bed.

    However, I completely understand that Amanda did not like it because it is... well, not much conventional.

    1. I'm glad you liked it! I don't really like Terry Gilliam either so that explains it.