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Directed by Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet
France 1991

After years of working successfully in commercials and music videos, French directors Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet make a splashing feature-film debut, DELICATESSEN, a hysterical exercise in style. Scripted by comic book writer and frequent Caro and Jeunet collaborator Gilles Adrien, the story follows a sweet-natured clown, Louison (Dominique Pinon), who moves into a run down apartment building with a delicatessen on the ground floor and falls in love with the butcher's daughter, Julie Clapet (Marie-Laure Dougnac). When it turns out that Julie's father (Jean-Claude Dreyfus) is actually butchering human beings and selling the meat to the carnivorous tenants of the building, Julie must decide if she will remain loyal to her father's business or expose the truth in order to save Louison from being the next victim. Taking place entirely inside, underneath, and on the roof of the delicatessen, the film uses an old pipe that runs throughout the building as a channel of communication for its characters.


Caro and Jeunet have a flair for visual communication and comedy that overflows in DELICATESSEN, keeping viewers engaged in the film even when the style seems to swallow the plot. In one of the most mimicked scenes of the 1990s (most notably in commercials), the directors brilliantly choreograph a bizarre event in which the separate activities of each of the hotel's tenants--a couple making love in a squeaky bed, a man painting his ceiling, a woman playing the cello--become hilariously rhythmic and synchronised. This scene spawned an entirely new cinematic language, making DELICATESSEN one of the most auspicious directorial debuts of the 1990s.

***

In a post-apocalyptic society where food is so rare it's invaluable and used as currency and people eat each other a young clown applies for a job at a local delicatessen. The butcher's intent is to have him work for a little and then serve him to his stranger than normal tenants who pay him in, of course, grain. This clown falls in love with the butcher's daughter who tries to foil her father's plans by contacting the rebels. The rebels are possibly the most sensible of the lot, as they see food as food and not money.

***

The near future: taking a job and a bedsit at a shabby rooming-house above a butcher's shop, ex-clown Louison (Pinon) falls for the butcher's daughter. But her father, unhappy about the blossoming romance, deals in human flesh: will Louison fall victim, or will the Troglodistes, an underground group of vegetarian fanatics, come to his rescue? On to this slim story, writer-directors Jeunet and Caro pile a wealth of delicious comic detail. Each grotesquely larger-than-life inhabitant of the scrofulous tenement has his own little story; visually, the film evokes Gilliam, Lynch, the Coens and Carné, but the allusions never get in the way of the nightmarish humour. The sets, special effects, photography, pace and performances all contribute to the brash comic-strip vivacity, and even the fairytale romance avoids sentimentality. Increasingly inventive as it progresses, Jeunet and Caro's fast, funny feature debut entertains from sinister start to frantic finish.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Posters etc.

Theatrical Release: April 17th, 1991

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Comparison:

Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Momentum Pictures - Region 2 - PAL vs. Studio Canal Collection - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 Thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Momentum DVD screen caps!

1) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) Momentum Pictures - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Studio Canal Collection - Region 'B' Blu-ray - RIGHT

DVD Box Cover

   

 

same as the 1 disc Studio Canal:

and the German Kinowelt:

 

LionsGate on September 14th, 2010

 

Optimum on September 13th, 2010

 

 

Kinowelt on September 16th, 2010

 

Studio Canal on September 14th, 2010

Distribution Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC

Momentum Pictures

Region 2 - PAL

Studio Canal Collection
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:39:30  1:35:03 (4% PAL speedup) 1:39:21.041

Video

1.85:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.24 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.71 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 36,562,153,694 bytes

Feature: 24,900,648,960 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate: Miramax

Bitrate:

Bitrate:  Blu-ray

Audio French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround) French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), DUB: German, Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) DTS-HD Master Audio French 1725 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1725 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio French 1729 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1729 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio German 1603 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1603 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Spanish 1643 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1643 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Subtitles English, Spanish, None English, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, None English, Danish, Finnish, French, German , Japanese, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish and none
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Miramax Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by: Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet
• "Fine Cooked Meats: A nod to Delicatessen" featurette
• The Archives of Jean-Pierre Jeunet
• Theatrical trailer
• Delicatessen teasers

DVD Release Date: May 2nd, 2006

Keep Case
Chapters: 18

Release Information:
Studio: Momentum Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by: Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet
• Fine Slices from Diane Bertrand featurette (13:32)
• The Archives of Jean-Pierre Jeunet (8:38)
• Theatrical trailer
• Delicatessen teasers

DVD Release Date: April 15, 2002
Keep Case

Chapters 15

Release Information:
Label: Studio Canal Collection
 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 36,562,153,694 bytes

Feature: 24,900,648,960 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Making of: Fine Cooked Pork Meats (13:30 in SD - French with optional subs)
Trailer (2:08) / Teaser (1:31 in SD)
Main Course Pieces (1:05:27 in HD - French with optional subtitles)
Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Audio Commentary (French with optional subtitles)
Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Archives (8:43 in SD - French with optional subtitles)


Blu-ray Release Dates: September 2010
Custom
Blu-ray package
Chapters: 1
5

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: (August 2010) Studio Canal Collection - Region FREE - Blu-ray: Firstly, this is the region FREE  Blu-ray edition of Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet's film. It will be the exact same disc (transfer, menus, extras) used in the UK (Optimum), Germany (Kinowelt), Lions Gate (in the USA) and in France (Studio Canal) under the umbrella of The Studio Canal Collection. Packaging will differ due to the country language it is sold in September 2010 but all digital features will be the same.

 

The disc asks you immediately to choose; a country of which the United Kingdom defaulted for me. Then the menus are in the appropriate language and the feature and extras play with the relating subtitles.

 

Delicatessen is am amazing looking film and now in 1080P it presents demo material for your home theater system. All the golden yellows, green hues and rich black levels come through so beautifully in the Studio Canal Collection Blu-ray transfer. Hopefully the below captures will verify to you that the new HD rending advances in every area producing a fine sheen of grain and a greater level of detail. This showcases some fabulous visuals on the dual-layered disc - very close to reference - advancing upon the, already strong, NTSC SD-DVD by displaying plenty of depth and tighter color balance.

 

 

Audio supplies a lossless DTS-HD master track in 2.0 channel stereo for the original French as well as Spanish and German DUBs. At 1725 Kbps it is not the most robust track I have heard but works well for the film that has plenty of effects. I admit - I would have liked to hear a 5.1 surround mix but this new HD audio sounds much richer than the previous DVDs. The disc appears to be the world-wide release with many subtitle options and, to my surprise, my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc (I didn't verify region 'C'!) playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Once again Studio canal have packaged the disc with plenty of viable extras - most already appearing on previous digital editions with one extensive addition. We get a humorous commentary from co-director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (same as on the DVDs) in French with optional subtitles. A 15-minute Making of... entitled Fine Cooked Pork Meats - this is in SD - French with optional subtitles, a trailer (2:08) / teaser (1:31 both in SD) and the most substantial extra the hour-long Main Course Pieces (in HD - French with optional subtitles) which covers many aspects of the production, the film's evolution and performances. Lastly there is a repeated piece called Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Archives running shy of 10-minutes in French with optional subtitles.

 

The film is quite inventive - reminding very much of Jean-Pierre Jeunet's own Amelie from Montmartre or Terry Gilliam's work. A true dark comedy that is fun and very much worth the ride and re-visitation. It was quite joyful watching it on Blu-ray - perfect presentation for when friends are over - they will both laugh and be astounded at the quality. Strongly Recommended!

 

***

 

ADDITION: Momentum (R2UK)

NOTE: The French 1-disc Studio Canal DVD and German Kinowelt DVD are the exact same versions as U.K. Momentum Pictures edition. The PAL image is weaker with boosting (both brightness and black levels), hence the colors are unbalanced. The new NTSC edition is sharper and more consistent. There may be a bit of cropping on the top and bottom edges of the PAL edition(s), and sides of the Miramax, but nothing to get our feathers ruffled over. It appears that the extras are the same (even the commentary). I prefer the PAL subs and menus but all else goes to the Miramax. The only question is why it took so long to surface in Region 1? 

****

Not unlike Jean-Pierre Jeunet's later success Amélie (Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain), Delicatessen has a very yellow/golden hue to it that has been represented well in the new Miramax DVD. The anamorphic 1.85 image looks quite good. Unfortunately the subtitles are yellow and quite high on the screen. Good news is that this Miramax release has all the extras from the PAL region 2 edition. The commentary (subbed in English) is a decent one adding some good production flavor. There is a featurette and some filler and overall this is a good release - if we can we will compare to the PAL edition soon, but as it stands viewers will be quite happy with this NTSC release.

Gary W. Tooze

 



DVD Menus

 

 (Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Momentum Pictures - Region 2 - PAL RIGHT)


 

 

Studio Canal Collection - Region FREE Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE BELOW TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Momentum Pictures - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Studio Canal Collection - Region 'B' Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

Screen Captures

 

1) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Momentum Pictures - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Studio Canal Collection - Region 'B' Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Momentum Pictures - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Studio Canal Collection - Region 'B' Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Momentum Pictures - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Studio Canal Collection - Region 'B' Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Momentum Pictures - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Studio Canal Collection - Region 'B' Blu-ray - BOTTOM


 

1) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Momentum Pictures - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Studio Canal Collection - Region 'B' Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Momentum Pictures - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Studio Canal Collection - Region 'B' Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Studio Canal  Blu-ray captures


DVD Box Cover

   

 

same as the 1 disc Studio Canal:

and the German Kinowelt:

 

LionsGate on September 14th, 2010

 

Optimum on September 13th, 2010

 

 

Kinowelt on September 16th, 2010

 

Studio Canal on September 14th, 2010

Distribution Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC

Momentum Pictures

Region 2 - PAL

Studio Canal Collection
Region FREE -
Blu-ray




 

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Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA

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