It really is a great time to be a 4K collector. When the format started out, there was a focus on big, popular, showy blockbuster movies that could sell consumers on the benefits of sparkly 4K resolution. As the years have gone on, more and more niche films have joined the format, and release of Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s La Cité des enfants perdus (The City of Lost Children) is a perfect example.
This 1995 co-production of companies from France, Germany, and Spain is a profoundly unique and mesmerising fantasy experience that benefits enormously from the 4K UHD format. With costume design by Jean-Paul Gaultier alongside hauntingly ethereal imagery, The City of Lost Children is a delightfully idiosyncratic Gilliam-inspired flick that oozes nightmarish passion from every meticulously constructed frame. While there is certainly a dark and twisted beauty to the imagery, this isn’t a film that pops with colour but textures and grain are remarkably defined. This is without a doubt the best way to experience this cinematic oddity.
The film’s plot concerns Krank (Daniel Emilfork), a malevolent being aging prematurely due to being unable to dream. Kidnapping children and harvesting their dreams in his lair on an abandoned oil rig, this disturbing fairytale’s twisted narrative is complimented entirely by its unique visuals which often threaten to overshadow any attempts at storytelling.
Still, as a visual piece, The City of Lost Children excels – and the stunning new 4K restoration available from StudioCanal is revelatory. The film looks and sounds spectacular, and breathes new life into this hidden gem. Consider this one highly recommended.