I love sci-fi/futuristic films because they're about going as far as possible with the wildest ideas and images that a brain can produce. While American directors have an attraction to a pedagogical dooms-day, apocalyptic atmosphere, the French usually paint an abstract beautified, idealized picture, associating much closer with irrationality.
12 monkeys is based on a French masterpiece, "La Jetee" by Chris Marker, which is a perfectly constructed film, built almost exclusively of still images, using time travel to discuss memory and mortality. While Marker's approach to time travel is distanced, metaphysical and abstract, 12 Monkeys employs a rich and luscious narrative. Cole (Bruce Willis), a turbulent prisoner, is sent back in time to the '90s from the underground high-tech world of the year 2035 in order to change history; humanity was affected in the '90s by a viral epidemic that wiped human beings from the face of the earth, driving the remaining people underground and leaving earth's monuments and department stores to be inhabited by wild animals. Cole's mission is to gather information that would allow those in the future to cure humanity of the plague. He begins his journey by landing in our time as a patient in a mental institution, where he meets the story's other two key figures: a soulful and intelligent psychiatrist (Madeline Stowe) who is intrigued with him first as a case and then as a man; and a fellow messy young loony (Brad Pitt) who is suspected of having a connection with a mysterious gang which may be the evil plotters.
Terry Gilliam, who also made another great film, Brazil , created a very satisfying movie. The Hollywood production actually managed to be used as a grounding structural device rather than a total killer. Monkeys allows us a flirt with insanity and mystery (in the form of a repeated ghostly memory that runs through Cole's head and comes to life at the end, where past and present coexist in one magical moment), yet it maintains a moral and practical level by infusing the story with relevant tidbits of current social issues.
City of Lost Children (made by the team who created Delicatessen ) is a highly designed surreal fantasy, with a less-than-coherent story combining Frankensteinian mad-scientist-producing-human-replicas elements with Vampirian emotional tragedy. An attempt to describe the story will require some labor, but it goes more or less like this: a group of little street-smart orphans are ruled by a couple of identical vicious women who operate as though they have one brain, belonging to a secret sect who's members are wearing vision-enhancing devices. The greedy adults are making their living by abusing the kids and forcing them to steal money and valuables for them. One of the orphans, the pretty Miette, teams up with a semi-mute gentle giant to stop a senile mad scientist who tries to steal children's dreams, assisted by 9 helpers, all replicas of the same person, and a nightmare version of a midget mother-figure.
While 12 Monkeys is a bizarre, warmly beautiful film, it is at the same time a manifestation of the utilitarian American practical world view which implies order and demands a strong connection with reality, making the technical world an ultimate truth. This film shows that this approach at it's best can be positively critical and meaningful. (This is why I liked Jonny Mnemonic too. It seriously tried to deal with the Big Brother symptoms of a computerized world). City of Lost Children, on the other hand, manifests pure escapism from the "real" world, doing what the French are best at: idealizing love and beauty. It is more juvenile and playful, not as rational, giving imagination and emotion full credit.
Great movie. I saw 9 movies this weekend because I was in Logan Utah and theres nothing else to do and this was one of my favorites aslo because I like monkey things. I started this click at BYU called the WEST SIDE MONKEYS check out the page http://www.byu.edu/~bairdc/ HOT MONKEY
I've seen both of these movies, and I must say that they rate among my favorites. The City of Lost children is an excellent film full of splendid imagery and very engaging characters. and 12 monkeys is of course a damn good movie as well. Terry Gilliam is a god.
I am looking to purchase a copy of City of Lost Children (english dubbed, I'm legally blind and have a hard time reading sub-titles). Any idea where I can get this? Thanx
I have found both 12 Monkeys, and city of the lost children to be the most thought provokeing movies i have ever seen, and not to mention, my favorits.
where are all the cool pictures from the film
where can i find city of lost children posters?
I have the CD-rom game "City of lost children". Who can help me out?
I have the cd-rom game of "city of lost children". Who can help me out?
i am glad i finally found a site that does these perfect films some justice. i am 16 years old and i skateboard and go to punk shows, but i am also able to appreciate the beauty of these movies. City was the most enrapturing movies i've seen in a long while. if anyone can tell me where i can pick up a copy of City, id be very greatful
I did not understand the movie at first but after i saw it agin I understud it. The movie was so well done I give it 4 stars. I snowboard, listen to music, water ski, want to be a lawer,oceanographer, reach about space.