See this film: City of Lost Children at the Brattle

Spoiled boys and girls demanding extravagant gifts for the holidays might better appreciate their good fortune by watching Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet's City of Lost Children (1995), though they may want to take their parents along, as it's R-rated. A mad scientist kidnaps kids and takes them to the island asylum of the title where he extracts their dreams to rejuvenate himself via a kind of psychic vampirism. A hulking strongman played by Ron Perlman helps an orphan girl save her brother from the villain's clutches, but the real heroes here are the set designer and special effects maestro as they evoke influences ranging from German Expressionism to David Lynch in a terrifying and beautiful dream of their own. It screens at the Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St, Cambridge | Tuesday, December 20 @ 10 pm | $9.75; $7.75 students; $6.75 seniors | 617.876.6837 or

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