In the late 70s, french director Jean-Pierre Jeunet and designer Marc Caro met and found they shared a lot of interests in the visual arts. Their friendship soon became an artistic team that would spent the whole 80s making short films, perfecting their storytelling abilities and visual design skills and preparing themselves to make a career in film-making. Their efforts were crowned in 1991, when they were finally able to take their craft to a full feature length film, in the project that would become their breakthrough in the film industry and the proper beginning of their careers as filmmakers: the post-apocalyptic comedy "Delicatessen".
Written by Gilles Adrien (who also wrote many of the previous Jeunet & Caro shorts) as well as Jeunet & Caro themselves, "Delicatessen" is a wonderfully imaginative tale of sweet romance and hilarious black comedy that gives an unexpected light-hearted twist to a plot that most writers would treat as a serious subject matter. And surprisingly it works. Also visually, the film is simply sublime. Since the directors decided to divide responsibilities, Marc Caro took full control of the production design and the artistic elements of the movie, so with this freedom Caro's inventive artistic vision reaches new heights creating a movie that could be described as a moving canvas. Highly atmospheric, the french duo takes the cinematography (by Darius Khondji) to the next level mixing techniques and showing a whole range of influences that go from German Expressionism to 40s modernism, resulting in one of the most beautiful looking movies ever done. Still, the movie is more than a visual fest, as Jeunet (in charge of guiding the actors) shows a complete domain over his cast & crew keeping the many elements of the film working nicely in the right place.