Jeunet’s forgotten “Bunker of the Last Gunshots” (1981)

I”m a big fan of the French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Before he made Amelie and A Very Long Engagment (and the horrid Alien: Resurrection) he made Delicatessen and City of Lost Children. Their cramped, claustrophobic atmosphere combined with the steampunk style technology and retro, murky visuals created a sense of tension and atmosphere I always admired. Recently I was reading his biography and found a reference to this film, the Bunker of the Last Gunshots, made with his early collaborator and friend Marc Caro. It’s a wonderfully atmospheric short film, set in a dystopian future (hey, Jeunet knows his swim lane, okay?). There is no dialogue, just a group of increasingly paranoid and violent soldiers that are reacting to a mysterious counter counting down and loud sirens and wailing going on all around them. It’s a terrific first film from a visionary master. I wish Jeunet was more prolific sometimes– and I wish he were making films with Marc Caro again. See for yourself.

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