Valerie Gokturk



Delicatessen (Jeunet and Caro)

Character List

Stanley Louison:  The newbie, former clown, vegetarian, creator, optimist

Julie Clapet:  The butcher’s daughter, vegetarian, love, music

Clapet the Butcher: Runs building and deli, cannibal system, pessimist, destroyer

Mailman: Connection to outside world, brute, gestapo type

Miss Plusse: Pretty love interest of butcher; uses her “assets” to survive; doesn’t love him

Aurore Interligator:  Wife of Georges, hears voices, suicidal

Georges Interligator: Husband of Aurore, rich, TV is his opiate

Roger Kube: Makes cow noise makers, jealous of brother’s love for Aurore

Robert Kube: Makes cow noise makers, bald, loves Aurore

Mr. Tapioca: Head of family (2 sons, wife, mother in law); peddler

Trogolos / Trogolodistes : Underground network *Troglodyte = cave dweller



Describe the setting.


FOIL Characters. Make a T chart contrasting Clapet with Louison


How is this a Cozy Catastrophe: A group bands together to work together to survive the end of the world.


Routine.  How does each character spend their time? What does this reveal about each?


Discuss the end imagery of the couple on the roof with the children playing music. How does this ending make sense with the rest of the film? [Work backwards, highlighting the important journey points.]


Ideas to Consider:

·        Note the imagery of the film. The colors. The objects. The clothing. How do the directors use color in their cinematography to emphasize theme?

·        How are the characters grotesque? How are the characters beautiful?

·        What significant or loaded phrases are used and by what characters?

·        How is dramatic irony used in this piece? [The audience knows something a character does not.]

·        How do characters pass their time in this post-apocalyptic setting?

·        What is the “philosophy” or mindset of the characters?

·        How is the idea of interconnectivity illustrated/developed? What role does music and/or sound play in this place?

·        With which characters do you empathize? Why? Are there characters with whom you cannot empathize?  Why?

·        Comedy? Where/how is this film funny?

·        What objects are presented and why are they important to understanding the film? [TV, cleaver, Australian, panties, BS detector, coffee maker, corn/lentils, shoes, Julie’s eyeglasses, etc.

·        How does France’s experience in WWII inform the filmmakers’ choices?

·        Destruction vs. Creation

·        Color significance in the film?

·        Upper / lower worlds – compare and contrast with The Time Machine.


Literary Analysis

Analyze this film from a particular lens [see above for ideas]. For example, “read” the film as an absurd text, compare the film to another work from the course, or discuss the director’s purpose. Write out an analysis on the large paper in whatever format works for you (web, linear, table, etc.). Include at least 4-5 of the following techniques/devices to further explore your point of interest. Be sure to clearly state your idea/observation, provide evidence, and explain.


Literary Stuff to Consider


Course Motifs (cozy catastrophe, ouroboros, Adam/Eve, flood cleansing, entropy, etc)

Foil Character









Dark Humor



Quotes of Interest

“Here or there, this is nowhere.” –Clapet [“You’re no optimist,” the cabbie responds.]


“Life is beautiful,” Clapet says, setting of the BS detector. “There’s no room for dreams.”


“Get ready, the winds are shifting,” Plusse says.


“Deep down they’re good people… You can’t blame them, they have nothing,” says Louison. “One must always forgive. People aren’t evil, it’s their circumstances.”