On the Radar: Micmacs

Remember Blockbuster? In 1996, every Friday night, I would grab 3 or 4 videos, actual videotapes, for the weekend. The more random, the better. I lived in the ‘burbs, so i didn’t have facets or Netflix. Blockbuster was the best i could do. They didn’t have a great selection but they had a decent amount of the indie stuff that never made it into theaters.

city_lost_childrenI saw the box for City of Lost Children and needed to see it. I watched it twice that night. The photography is stunning and the vibe super-creepy. The entire movie is a carnival ride on acid. It was great. Somehow, in the days before IMDB, i managed to track down everything director Jean-Pierre Jeunet had done. The only other film available at the time was Delicatessen which is equal parts beautiful, bizarre and hilarious.

I was hooked. There is even some amazing camera work in Alien Resurrection. I’ll leave the praise at that. Amelie and A Very Long Engagement later, we’re prepped for another gorgeous ride through the peculiarly brilliant mind of Jeunet.

Hollywood News has an in depth article with Jeunet here.

Hollywood News: So was your experience in Alien different?

Jeunet: I was waiting for this question (laughs). No, it was a great experience. And I read so many times, “It was a nightmare for Jean-Pierre Jeunet.” You know the guy who made Up in the Air? He made a joke with the photo like the dwarf in Amelie and they say “It’s like in the French film.” Because I read in an interview, “He said because it was a nightmare to make Alien for Jean-Pierre Jeunet, he came back in France to make Amelie. It’s an hommage.” No, it wasn’t a nightmare. I’m sorry. You would like? It was tough. It was difficult because you have to convince people to have your own editing. You have to speak with a lot of people. But it wasn’t a nightmare, it was just tough. And in France, it’s not tough. You have the freedom by law. We have the final cut by the law. It’s the law.

A director with Jeunet’s breadth of vision deserves, I should say, needs final cut rights. I can’t imagine Delicatessen coming from an American studio in tact.

tags: jean-pierre jeunet, micmacs, on the radar

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