Cité Des Enfants Perdus, La (1995)

Where happily ever after is just a dream.

Original Title : Cité des enfants perdus, La
Director : Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Marc Caro
Writer : Gilles Adrien
Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Marc Caro
Gilles Adrien
Guillaume Laurant
Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Genre : Adventure
Country : France
Language : French
Producer : Claudie Ossard , Elías Querejeta
Music : Angelo Badalamenti
Photography : Darius Khondji
Distributor : Union Générale Cinématographique (UGC) [fr]
MPAA Rating : Rated R for disturbing and grotesque images of violence and menace.
IMDB ID : 0112682
Official site :
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poster for "Cité Des Enfants Perdus, La" by Jean-Pierre Jeunet | Marc Caro (1995)
Cité Des Enfants Perdus, La (1995) - Jean-Pierre Jeunet | Marc Caro


Ron Perlman One
Daniel Emilfork Krank
Daniel Emilfork Krank


Krank (D. Emilfork), who cannot dream, kidnaps young children to steal their dreams. One (R. Perlman), a former whale hunter who is as strong as a horse, sets forth to search for Denree, his little brother who was kidnaped by Krank's men. Helped by young Miette (J. Vittet), he soon arrives in La Cite des Enfants Perdus (The City of Lost Children). The evil Krank and his henchmen have been made by a mad scientist. Krank's problem is that he is tormented by his inability to dream. He finds it necessary to try to steal the dreams of children, but since they fear him, he only gets their nightmares. When a circus strongman's little brother is kidnapped, the strongman (One) tracks him down and, with the help of some other eccentric characters, tries to put an end to the evil reign of Krank and his Cyclops army.


A visceral, Carrol-esque film. Excellent score. This is one of the most original movies I have ever seen. Fueled by a very unique and delightfully perverse vision, Jeunet and Caro have created a fantastic world almost as warped and familiar as the very dreams the monstrous Krank attempts to steal from the more fortunate children. The sets have a twisted, post-apocalyptic feel to them, the child actors are the best I have ever seen, and the self-contained story never seems pretentious or too bombastic (as some reviewers seem to think). I found myself looking for metaphors and suggestions of a deeper meaning all through the film, when, at some point, I realized Jeunet and Caro were weaving a tale of fantasy much like our dream-worlds: intimate and personal but utterly unbelievable. Inversions into recursion, things turn on their heads in the most intoxicating way. I have a particular interest in film music, and I was very impressed with Angelo Badalamenti's ethereal score, which I have had the pleasure to listen to both throughout the film, and later on its own. My initial impressions of the film prepared me for a score in the vein of Elfman's work, the film fits his usually zany and off-beat work. Badalamenti takes a different approach and instead presents a darker score, claustrophobic in the style of Bernard Herrmann's early work -- most notably his "Day the Earth Stood Still". I truly enjoyed this work (some may remember Badalamenti's work from the "Twin Peaks" series), and found it entirely appropriate.
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Cité Des Enfants Perdus, La (1995) - Jean-Pierre Jeunet | Marc Caro
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Cité Des Enfants Perdus, La (1995) - Jean-Pierre Jeunet | Marc Caro