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Les Enfants Terribles

Pic is an avant-garde treatment of an enticing psychological subject. Treatment is unorthodox, full of symbolism, and deals with the strange inner world of a strongly attached brother and sister. Jean Cocteau has written the pic and delivers the commentary, which creates a gripping, dream-like attraction.

With:
Nicole Stephane Edouard Dermithe Renee Cosima Jacques Bernard Roger Gaillard Melvyn Martin

Pic is an avant-garde treatment of an enticing psychological subject. Treatment is unorthodox, full of symbolism, and deals with the strange inner world of a strongly attached brother and sister. Jean Cocteau has written the pic and delivers the commentary, which creates a gripping, dream-like attraction.

A brother and sister live together in a strange littered room. The room is their world and soon takes on a grotesque atmosphere. They rarely venture into the outer world, for they are inbred, selfish, self-dramatizing, and inescapably two parts of a single whole. When they do venture out, it leads to some hilarious escapades with their wonder at the world and their complete break with convention. Strange relationship finally leads to tragedy.

Jean-Pierre Melville directs with intelligence, and though working in close quarters, has captured all the suggestiveness and subtleties of the high-powered relationship. Lensing is helpful in sustaining the mood and the editing is effective.

Nicole Stephane, as the sister, is brilliant in the subtelty and neurotic strength she brings to the part. Edouard Dermithe is unsure of himself as the weak-willed brother. American singer Melvyn Martin figures in one scene and gets off a song.

Les Enfants Terribles

France

Production: Melville. Director Jean-Pierre Melville; Producer Jean-Pierre Melville; Screenplay Jean-Pierre Melville, Jean Cocteau; Camera Henri Decae; Editor Monique Bonnot; Music Paul Bonneau (dir.); Art Director Mathys

Crew: (B&W) Available on DVD. Extract of a review from 1950. Running time: 102 MIN.

With: Nicole Stephane Edouard Dermithe Renee Cosima Jacques Bernard Roger Gaillard Melvyn Martin

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