Caro is the artist responsible for Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children; a pair of game-changing dystopian fantasy films from France, co-directed with Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie) in 1991 and 1995. With grotesque, carnivalesque characters and bleak near-future settings inspired by photography, technology, and architecture of years gone by, Caro’s visionary world-building would go on to influence everything from the Alien franchise to Guillermo Del Toro’s Oscar-winning The Shape of Water. Today, he might be perceived as a pioneer of contemporary steampunk cinema.

With Jeunet and Caro’s dynamic debut Delicatessen celebrating thirty years on April 17, Inverse caught up with the latter to reminisce on the fruits of his emphatic career — from his roots in legendary French comics anthology Métal hurlant, to his cinema ascendency in the ‘90s, and the future of science fiction via another French-speaking filmmaker.