Saturday, June 18, 2011

LES ENFANTS TERRIBLES (1950) -
Jean-Pierre Melville


There's a reason it says "Jean Cocteau's Les Enfants Terribles" on the cover of this Criterion DVD. You'd be hard-pressed to find much "Melville" in this early Jean-Pierre effort, a rather straight adaptation of Cocteau's book. Apart from a few head-on, talking-into-the-camera takes (Melville can't get enough of those), he stays in the background and faithfully serves the material, a claustrophobic story of a twisted, much too intimate brother-sister relationship. There's no real crime to be had (other than crimes against nature). The brother and sister are mostly just shitty to each other and a little on the dull side. This one is for Meville completists, those interested in seeing him working outside of genre. For most everyone else it will probably be Les Enfants Tedious.

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