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Jean-Pierre Jeunet & Micmacs

March 5, 2010

Recently I posted about Ponyo, and while I don’t intend to turn this into a film or review blog, it so happens that a new film by another director I greatly admire has just been released.  I want to blog about things that inspire me, and as I saw the film earlier this week I’d like to talk about that film and it’s director here.

The film is Micmacs, by French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet.  Jeunet is possibly my favourite director and like Miyazaki (director of Ponyo, see earlier post),  Jeunet has a very distinctive vision and creates surreal and fantastical worlds that you can’t help but be drawn into.

Micmacs is about a homeless man’s quest for revenge against the two arms companies responsible for creating the weapons that led to the death of his father and the bullet being lodged in his brain which led to his subsequent misfortunes.  He is aided by a motley crew of carnival-esque, homeless misfits in a series of humourous, intricate set pieces.  On first viewing, while it has flashes of the usual charm and ingenuity of a Jeunet film, and no doubt contains his trademark style and whimsy, it didn’t quite capture me as much as I thought it would and I didn’t connect with it in the same way as I did with his previous work.  Not a bad film by any means, it’s more interesting than many other films out there and is worth watching.  And I’d definitely like to see this again as it may be one of those that I click with more on a second viewing.

I strongly urge anyone who hasn’t seen any of Jeunet’s film’s before to do so, if just for their sheer inventiveness and visual flare – although I’d recommend watching some of his other films first before Micmacs.  There’s Delicatessen, The City of the Lost Children, A Very Long Engagement and my favourite, Amélie.  Amélie is the film that first brought my attention to Jeunet’s work.  It’s a visual feast – every single detail from the opening to end credits is carefully designed and each frame is beautifully composed and would make a great photograph if taken out on it’s own.  It’s this visual brilliance coupled with inventive storytelling and Jeunet’s obvious dedication and love of film-making that I admire and am inspired by.

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