Delicatessen ~ (France, 1991) ~ DVD

deliThis 1991 French macabre futuristic farce has the dark stylistic landscape of  2001’s Moulin Rouge and the sensibility of 2007’s Sweeney Todd. This one broke that ground long ago.

Louisson, an out 0f work clown (his monkey fell victim to meat-eaters) responds to an ad in the papers for a handyman at a delicatessen. The owner of the deli packs a lethal cleaver, though. Before all hell breaks lose, Louisson falls in love with the butcher’s daughter.  She plays the viola. He plays the musical saw. Such are the quiet moments in an otherwise manic film – a vegan farce.

There is one classic scene where the the butcher makes love to his wife (?) on a squeaky spring mattress. The sound echoes throughout the building and is mimicked by the residents in various forms: rhythmically painting the ceiling, a sewing machine. Hilarious. It’s later recalled when the handyman/clown comes to fix the squeak. He and the butcher’s wife sit on the bed to try and identify the source of the squeak. It’s a muted version of the earlier scene – almost in pantomime

Perhaps over-hyped, bit definitely an idiosyncratic force.

♦♦♦½

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