One of Cocteau's most satisfying contributions to the cinema, largely because of Melville's lucid interpretation of the writer's poetic vision. Essence and myth lie at the centre of Cocteau's story of a young sister (a startling performance from Nicole Stéphane) and brother who retreat into their private world to play out their erotically charged games. It is easy to see why the film was so influential with subsequent French film-makers, especially in the way it anticipates the self-obsessiveness of an adolescent culture that grew up in the '50s. How Melville achieved its lightness of touch - a quality much admired by Cocteau - remains a small mystery, given Cocteau's constant interference and a wooden male lead (Cocteau's protégé, not Melville's choice).
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Jean-Pierre Melville, Jean Cocteau|