The story is centered on a microcosm of a post-apocalyptic society where food is so rare it's invaluable and is used as currency. The story centers on an apartment building with a delicatessen on the ground floor. The owner of the eatery also owns the apartment building and he is in need of a new maintenance man since the original "mysteriously" disappeared. A former clown applies for the job and the butcher's intent is to have him work for a little while and then serve him to quirky tenants who pay the butcher in, of course, grain. The clown and butcher's daughter fall in love and she tries to foil her father's plans by contacting the "troglodytes", a grain eating sub-group of society who live entirely underground. The "trogs" are possibly the most sensible of the lot, as they see food as food and not money. Written by
Jean-Pierre Jeunet got the idea for the movie in 1988 while vacationing in America. He said after staying in America's hotels he felt the food was so bad that "it tasted like real humans". Then came the idea. See more »
When Julie welcomes Louison in her room and we see her following him to the table she has no socks, when she brings him later into his room after he has fallen asleep she has socks. See more »
In the opening credits, crew members' names appear on objects that the camera tracks across: the director of photography's name appears on a camera, the composer's name on a broken 12" record, etc. See more »
If Citizen Kane is the number one movie to see to learn anything about cinematography, this might as well be at number 2.
Delicatessen succeeds at creating a totally separate, consistent and believable universe with a very distinct atmosphere. The brown and green colors add to the weirdness of this universe.
Is it horror? Yes and no. Is it a comedy? Yes and no. Is it brilliant? Oh yes!
Everybody involved in the making of this picture gave it its best. The camera work is brilliant, the sets are simply amazing (with the final bathroom scene at the pinnacle), the editing and pace is breathtaking.
This could have been a very dark movie (and I guess a few Hollywood directors would have tried to turn it into a splatter movie and fail miserably), but the humor is just light, off-beat and hilarious enough to make it into a consistent and bearable whole. Every universe has its humor, and a strange universe has strange humor. Jacques Tati would have loved Delicatessen.
Julie's 'tea ceremony' without her glasses, the mattress spring test, Aurore's failing suicide contraptions, it's all funny as hell. I hope everyone who is even marginally involved in making movies gets to see Delicatessen and learns from its greatness. We could sure use a touch of genius in most of them ...
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