Analysis and Criticism
Final Project Analysis 2011
Miles Taylor Block II

Marc Caro/Jean Pierre Jeunet
1991 99 minutes.

I selected Delicatessen as my final project because it intertwines everything I love as an art student. I have always been attracted and drawn into dark visuals and sinister cinematography, this fascination being rekindled in this film Thematic lighting coupled with interesting plot twists maintain my high level of intrigue, which is why my objective with Delicatessen is to understand why Caro and Jeunet use cinematography in the way they do, and to such a precise level.

Delicatessen begins in a dilapidated apartment building in post-apocalyptic France. Food is in short supply, with grain used as currency. In the ground floor of the apartment building is a butcher's shop, run by the landlord, Clapet (Jean-Claude Dreyfus), who posts job opportunities in the Hard Times paper as means to lure victims to the building, whom he murders and butchers as a cheap source of meat that he sells to his tenants. Following the "departure" of the last worker, unemployed circus clown Louison (Dominique Pinon) arrives to apply for the vacant position. During his routine maintenance, he gradually befriends Clapet's daughter, Julie (Marie-Laure Dougnac), a relationship which slowly blossoms into romance. Aware of her father's motives and Louison's imminent death, Julie descends into the sewers to make contact with the feared Troglodistes, a vegetarian sub-group of French rebels, whom she convinces to help rescue Louison. Following the apparent death and butchering of an old woman, the Troglodistes return, and Mr. Clapet, with the remaining tenants of the building, storm Louison's room in an attempt to murder him. Louison, aided by Julie, resists by flooding the bathroom until Clapet opens the door and he and the other tenants are momentarily carried away by...