Sunday, March 21, 2010

#398: Les Enfants Terribles

(Jean-Pierre Melville, 1950)

Melville's second film is based on a Jean Cocteau novel, and it feels a lot more like a Cocteau film than a Melville film. Obviously, Melville had yet to find his calling as a crime filmmaker, and he was no doubt intimidated by Cocteau's presence on the film.

My biggest problem with the movie is simply how unlikable the two main characters of brother and sister are. This is simply just 100 minutes of two rotten, selfish young adults bickering back and forth until it's quite unbearable to take.

I'm still excited to watch this other Melville films on the list, and will chalk this one up to an early-career experiment in finding his voice, too often torn between his own instincts and those of the more established (yet much less up my alley) Cocteau.

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