10 user 5 critic
Weary immortals inhabit a metropolis in the sky and amuse themselves with constructions as they kill time and await whatever comes next.


Piotr Kamler


Piotr Kamler
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Credited cast:
Michael Lonsdale ... Narrator (voice)
Learn more

More Like This 

Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Inside a box full of curio, a puppet who is recently freed from his strings explores a dusty and forlorn commercial area. The explorer becomes ensnared into miniature tailor shop by baby-faced dolls.

Directors: Stephen Quay, Timothy Quay
Stars: Feliks Stawinski
Animation | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin with a twist.

Director: Jirí Barta
Stars: Oldrich Kaiser, Jirí Lábus, Michal Pavlícek
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Running away from the police, Aden goes to the desert where he meets an uncivilized man who has a special link with Mother-Earth. He ends up by convincing the hermit to come along with him into another desert... the big town!

Director: Fernando Arrabal
Stars: Emmanuelle Riva, George Shannon, Hachemi Marzouk
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A man takes a job at an asylum with hopes of freeing his imprisoned wife.

Director: Teinosuke Kinugasa
Stars: Masuo Inoue, Ayako Iijima, Yoshie Nakagawa
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Julie, who died of a PCP overdose as a teen in the early '70s, searches from beyond the ethers for her little brother, Bob, an obese watch-seller, who is dying of sucrose intolerance, in the early '90s.

Director: Damon Packard
Stars: Damon Packard, Nicole Vanderhoff, Beverly Miller
Hunger (1974)
Animation | Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Cruel, and utterly effective, Peter Foldes' experimentation with computer animation employs a bold speechless narrative to draw attention to the grave effects of consumerism. Who needs ethics when everything is within arm's reach?

Director: Peter Foldes
Comedy | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A man searching for his long-lost lover is kidnapped by her killers, an insane, mother-daughter duo, and they force him to commit various sexual atrocities with them.

Director: Nikos Nikolaidis
Stars: Meredyth Herold, Panos Thanassoulis, Michele Valley
Gandahar (1987)
Animation | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An evil force from a 1000 years in the future begins to destroy an idyllic paradise, where the citizens are in perfect harmony with nature.

Director: René Laloux
Stars: Glenn Close, Christopher Plummer, Pierre-Marie Escourrou
Short | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A gang of Nazi bikers prepares for a race as sexual, sadistic, and occult images are cut together.

Director: Kenneth Anger
Stars: Ernie Allo, Bruce Byron, Frank Carifi
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young boys' coming of age tale set in a strange, carnivalesque village becomes the recreation of a memory that the director has twenty years later.

Director: Shûji Terayama
Stars: Kaoru Yachigusa, Keiko Niitaka, Masumi Harukawa
Short | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Experimental short, featuring strobe-like erotic imagery with several shots of the Rolling Stones in performance and an original synthesizer score by Mick Jagger.

Director: Kenneth Anger
Stars: Kenneth Anger, Bobby Beausoleil, Bill Beutel
Animation | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An evil feudal lord rapes a village girl on her wedding night and proceeds to ruin her and her husband's lives. After she's eventually banished from her village, the girl makes a pact with the devil to gain magical ability and take revenge.

Director: Eiichi Yamamoto
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Katsuyuki Itô, Aiko Nagayama


Weary immortals inhabit a metropolis in the sky and amuse themselves with constructions as they kill time and await whatever comes next.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Did You Know?

Alternate Versions

Opening version (1982) runs 67 min with a narrator (Michaël Lonsdale). Director's cut (1988) runs 52 min without narration. See more »

User Reviews

Amazingly creative multi-media work
15 July 2005 | by x1nd0lentSee all my reviews

Chronopolis has awed me more than most any animated production I have ever seen. There is currently little information available about this and Piotr Kamler's other films. There have been showings at several festivals and events, but Kamler's work is quite difficult to find. A small company in Boston had released Chronopolis on VHS for a short while in the late 1980's or so, and I was fortunate enough to get to see a decent transfer of it.

Chronopolis was a French-Polish co-production with a story by Kamler and music from Luc Ferrari of the INA/GRM electroacoustic studios. The story is fascinating, and the style in which it is told remarkable. There is no dialog to explain what happens, just some brief opening narration to set the scene (I missed this, as I know little French). There is an obsessed mountain climber. And elsewhere, a city with enigmatic inhabitants who control matter. The apparently omniscient Chronopolitans are able to see this mountain climber in his world, deciding to contact him to reveal their hidden existence. To do so, they manipulate basic matter though a sort of alchemy, culminating in an intelligent sphere which departs to meet the man. The interactions between the sphere and the man are mostly jovial, but trying to meet the inhabitants of Chronopolis themselves is not so simple.

The story is indeed told entirely through pictures and music. This is much a process of sharing the discoveries of the characters with them, and so does require some patience. The film might appear to move slowly to a person hoping for dialog or a more conventional film narrative, but I expect that those who can appreciate the attention to detail here will relish it. Most movies which use 3D animation use it in a more cartoonish, "claymation" effect, whereas the sculpture here tends towards a less exaggerated appearance. In many ways, the city of Chronopolis is the main character itself. How the place is depicted is a fine balance between organic fluidity and grown technology, with the larger than life grandeur of an abandoned city from a lost Earth civilization, such as those from Egypt and Central America. The Chronopolitans may appear to be a refined culture, with vast knowledge and abilities, but is their contact ultimately nothing more than a time capsule from a dead (or closed) culture? Or is this perhaps a land of mythology, with different characteristics and rules than ordinary life, where they are in a unique position to comment on our world?

The amount of thought and effort which must have gone into this production is astonishing. The locations and characters are mostly realized in clay, or some other kind of 3D sculpture, augmented by some occasional illustrated details. Luc Ferrari's soundtrack is tasteful, the relatively subdued nature suiting the quiet locations and introspective tone of many scenes. The sound palette ranges from what sounds like treated minimal piano, to rhythmic concrete noises.

Seeing Chronopolis makes me wonder why Kamler's animation is not more readily available for viewing, I would really love to see some of his other work. Not easy to track down, but if you are in the mood to see some thoughtful animation which is a bit different than those from, for instance, Svankmajer and Quay; then perhaps you should try to find Chronopolis.

EDIT: It appears that the print I saw was the original, longer version. Kamler doesn't allow this version to be shown any longer, preferring instead a shorter version edited for less repetition. I prefer the longer version. As other reviewers have noted, this is not a spoon-fed story. It is hypnotic and repetitive, which affords it a rhythm which is more like music than narrative film. And it is definitely not, in my opinion, a children's movie! Unless your children are patient and have a taste for the esoteric.

20 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 10 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.



France | Poland



Release Date:

21 September 1983 (France) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Recently Viewed