Jenuet and Caro rely upon the use of marionettes to illustrate the story of children that are captured and imprisoned underneath a merry-go-round where they will conceivably spend the remainder of the lives turning the crank that makes the contraption spin.
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Jeunet seems to have followed a similar career trajectory to Tim Burton by which outsider oddness is, by degrees, subsumed by kitsch and, finally, tastefulness. This is a winningly grotesque early work. It functions as a fairytale allegory, but truthfully the attraction is in the phantasmagoric fairground creepiness, weird stone-like rubber faces and warped moral vision. Wet, weird and rainy. Fun late night jeebies.