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Last weekend I hung out with my buddy Will and borrowed from him the Criterion DVD of Les Enfants Terribles, the notorious collaboration between Jean Cocteau and Jean-Pierre Melville. Cocteau’s legacy is larger than life, and for a while now Melville has been one of my favorite directors, so it was nice to be able to finally see this.

Nicole Stéphane

A lot could be said about Les Enfants Terribles–it’s a good movie–but when I watched it the other night what stood out more than anything else was Nicole Stéphane: her performance as the bratty, comically overzealous sister was extraordinary. Stéphane’s over-the-top acting took me by surprise, though, because in Melville’s previous feature, Le Silence de la Mer, she played a character who was stone-faced and taciturn–seeing her in Les Enfants Terribles was like watching a completely different person.

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