Saturday, December 5, 2009

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came... and came... and came...

The anxiety that can sometimes accompany holiday excess is perfectly captured in this uncomfortable little vignette from The City of Lost Children (1995).

It's a storybook-perfect Christmas Eve, and an unnamed little boy, perhaps unable to sleep in anticipation of Santa's visit, sits up in his crib.

Shortly, a magical visitor emerges from the chimney...

He presents the little boy with a tin toy.

But there's a shadow moving near the fireplace...

A second Santa appears and hunches down right alongside the first.

He is soon followed by a third, a fourth, a fifth...

A line of Santas begin entering through the doorway as well.

Soon the room is swarming with Santas wandering around aimlessly.

The horrified boy suddenly feels compelled to protect his teddy bear from the invaders.

A glimpse out the window betrays the full scale of the infestation, for it appears that even escape from the house itself will not save him from the stifling mob.

It is only after the situation reaches a suffocating crescendo that we realize the entire incident is the child's dream... a dream induced and poisoned by a mad scientist's experiment.

If you're into Brazil (1985) or Dark City (1998), you might also enjoy The City of Lost Children. Buy it here.

1 comment:

Steve said...

You also might like Juenet and Caro's previous outing Delicatessen. I like City a little better, though. They both blow the doors off of Dark City, IMHO, though.