The City of Lost Children
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|The City of Lost Children|
French release poster
|Directed by||Marc Caro
|Produced by||Félicie Dutertre|
|Written by||Gilles Adrien
|Music by||Angelo Badalamenti|
|Editing by||Ailo August
Centre National de la Cinématographie
France 3 Cinéma
|Distributed by||Union Générale Cinématographique (France)
Concorde-Castle Rock/Turner (Germany)
Sony Pictures Classics (US)
|Running time||112 minutes|
The City of Lost Children (French: La Cité des enfants perdus) is a 1995 French-German-Spanish science fantasy drama film directed by Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet and starring Ron Perlman, who does not speak French, and repeated his lines phonetically as given to him by Caro. The film is stylistically related to the previous and subsequent Jeunet films, Delicatessen and Amélie. The music score was composed by Angelo Badalamenti. It was entered into the 1995 Cannes Film Festival.
From an ocean rig, a demented scientist, Krank (Daniel Emilfork), kidnaps children to steal their dreams, as he is incapable of having dreams of his own. Among them is the little brother, Denree (Joseph Lucien), of carnival strongman and former Russian sailor One (Ron Perlman), who sets out to rescue him with the help of a little girl named Miette (Judith Vittet), a member of a thieves' guild composed entirely of orphaned children. They delve into the world of a bio-mechanical kidnapping cult and discover the connection between the scientist and the missing Denree.
Krank is both aided and hindered by Martha (Mireille Mossé), a diminutive woman; Irvin (the voice of Jean-Louis Trintignant), a talkative brain in a tank; and six identical clones of the genius who created them all - including Krank - and has been missing for many years (all played by Dominique Pinon). They support the cult with technology as they gather children for Krank's experiments to give him dreams as without the ability to dream, he is aging rapidly. However, he does not seem to understand that by kidnapping the children, he frightens them, causing them to have only nightmares, which are worthless to him.
Conjoined twins known as the Octopus (Geneviève Brunet and Odile Mallet) control the orphan thieves in their robberies, but have become distrustful of Miette, and hire One to help the children steal a safe. The Octopus believes Miette has been holding out on them and has deserted to help One. They employ circus performer Marcello (Jean-Claude Dreyfus) to ensure Miette pays and One returns to them, and much to his own distaste he allows Miette to drown while rescuing One from the cult using a system of mind control involving trained fleas, a special serum, and a music box.
Beneath the waters Miette's last sight is that of a deep sea diver who takes her to his lair and catalogues her body. He is revealed to be a delusional paranoid, and identical to the clones except older with a beard. An accident revives Miette and she finds One and Marcello both drinking and full of sorrow in a bar. The angered Octopus has a henchman dispose of the bumbling Marcello - though he chooses not to, resenting the Octopus' control - and uses the stolen mind control system to turn One against Miette; the smallest of actions has the largest of results in a spectacular chain of events leading to the Octopus' demise instead, and One and Miette are freed to continue searching for Denree.
When a dream escapes the rig, it plants information in Miette's mind and restores some of the diver's memories, including how he once lived on the rig before he was attacked by Krank and Martha, the woman he created as a wife, and dropped into the sea. They all converge on the rig with the diver armed to destroy it and the duo to rescue Denree. Miette is almost killed by Martha before the diver arrives and shoots the dwarf in the back with a harpoon gun. Later, Miette is forced to enter a dream world to release Denree from the dream extracting machine as the diver straps himself and dynamite to the legs of the rig. In the dream world, Miette is joined by Krank, where she uses her imagination to control the dream and foil him once and for all, somehow leading to his death. One and Miette rescue all the children as the diver happens to grab some scientific papers, finally regaining his memory of who he is - the genius who created the rig-dwellers in the first place - as the clones and Irvin row away in one boat, and One, Miette, and the lost children escape in another, just before a sea bird triggers the detonation of the explosives, killing the genius and destroying the rig.
- Ron Perlman as One
- Judith Vittet as Miette
- Daniel Emilfork as Krank
- Dominique Pinon as the diver and the clones
- Joseph Lucien as Denree
- Jean-Claude Dreyfus as Marcello
- Rufus as Peeler
- Mireille Mossé as Martha
- Serge Merlin as The Chief of the Cyclops
- Ticky Holgado as Ex-acrobat
- Marc Caro as Brother Ange-Joseph
- Jean-Louis Trintignant (voice) as Uncle Irvin
- Mathieu Kassovitz (uncredited) as Man on the street
- Geneviève Brunet and Odile Mallet as the Octopus (French: la Pieuvre)
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A video game based on the film was released in the United States and in parts of Europe for the PC first and then the PlayStation console. So far the PC version holds a score of 60%, while the PlayStation version holds a score of 54.50%, both from GameRankings.
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- The City of Lost Children at Box Office Mojo
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- "The City of Lost Children - PlayStation". Game Informer. April 1997. Archived from the original on 1997-10-21. Retrieved 2012-10-10.
- Sengstack, Jeff (1997-04-24). "City of Lost Children Review (PC)". GameSpot. Retrieved 2012-10-10.
- Smith, Josh (1997-07-17). "The City of Lost Children Review (PS)". GameSpot. Retrieved 2012-10-10.
- IGN Staff (1997-05-23). "City of Lost Children". IGN. Retrieved 2012-10-11.
- "PC Review: The City Of Lost Children". PC Zone. 2001-08-13. Archived from the original on 2007-01-04. Retrieved 2012-10-11.
- "The City of Lost Children for PC". GameRankings. Retrieved 2012-10-10.
- "The City of Lost Children for PlayStation". GameRankings. Retrieved 2012-10-10.
- "City of Lost Children Video Game". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2007-02-22.
- Official website
- The City of Lost Children at the Internet Movie Database
- The City of Lost Children at Box Office Mojo
- The City of Lost Children at Rotten Tomatoes
- The City of Lost Children at Metacritic