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Delicatessen 15 rating

Jeunet and Caro's endlessly inventive and wildly enjoyable post-apocalyptic black comedy, about a sinister butcher and the circus clown who becomes his nemesis.

Comedy 1990 100 mins

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet


Writer-director team Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro burst onto the scene with this visually astounding, anarchically bonkers and brilliant black comedy. In a post-apocalyptic France where food is scarce, a butcher with a suspicious supply of meat, Clapet (Jean-Claude Dreyfus), has become a local kingpin. When circus clown Louison (Dominique Pinon) arrives in town, his skill with knives earns him a place at Clapet's table - until he unwisely falls for the butcher's daughter, Julie (Marie-Laure Dougnac).

With its blackly comic violence, cartoonish characters and eccentric musical interludes, Delicatessen's release in 1991 marked a breath of fresh air for French cinema, melding the visual sleekness of the contemporary 'Cinéma du look' scene with the warped, steampunk-style sensibility of Terry Gilliam. The result was a breakthrough hit in the UK, leading a path to Hollywood for director Jeunet (Alien: Resurrection) and earning the film's enduring cult reputation.