Enfants Terribles, Les

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Year Released: 1950
Rating: 1.5

Following the death of their mother, a brother-sister tandem spend entirely too much time in the same room, channeling their sexual energies in corrupted ways - the brother has fantasies about a classmate who threw a snowball at him while the sister may or may not be more interested in her sibling than nature allows. I love the Jean Cocteau book, but neither he nor Melville (who, considering his other films, is a little out of his element) are able to translate the claustrophobia and almost surreal qualities of the novel to the screen - in fact, it feels trapped by its literary source, and the voice-over kills the mood. Another massive problem: neither Nicole Stéphane nor Edouard Dermithe, in their twenties at the time of the shoot (and neither very good in their respective roles), could pass as teenagers in any way.