Forbidden Games Screen 8 articles

Forbidden Games

1952

Forbidden Games Poster
  • The paradigmatic art film (1952), once considered a masterpiece but now seldom revived. Five-year-old Brigitte Fossey is the French war orphan who tends a cemetery for animals during the occupation, aided by her tiny “boyfriend” (Georges Poujouly). Director Rene Clement handles his antiwar themes with an excruciating tastefulness; the film is precious and pretty obvious.

  • Opening German air attack's a doozy, but the panicked running looks a little too fake-y stage; the pathos is unearned, the "famous" (saccharine) Narciso Yepes guitar score.

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    Cahiers du cinéma: Jacques Rivette
    May 1957 | Cahiers du Cinéma (p. 39)

    Les dernières vacances is a very postwar film. Similarly Clément's Jeux interdits or Bresson's Journal d'un curé de campagne. While they vary widely in style, atmosphere and theme, they have in common a sharper sense of humanity than anything in pre-war cinema, as well asa capacity for analysis which is close to literature.

  • Over the years countless films have been made about war, its horrors and its devastations. Few, however, have been as moving and heartfelt as René Clément’s Forbidden Games. The Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film in 1952, this deeply touching French drama has stirred the emotions of every moviegoer who has had the good fortune to see it.

  • Forbidden Games is a simple, yet deeply affecting story about loss and the ravages of war. Filmed from the perspective of children, René Clément juxtaposes the innocence of youth with the insight of maturity. The result is a powerful and unrelenting film that operates on a purely visceral level - from the haunting theme to the heartbreaking conclusion.

  • Along with the final devastating scene of a frightened Paulette (Brigitte Fossey) stranded inside a Red Cross shelter, the documentary veracity of this opening tableau—in which Luftwaffe planes strafe the French countryside with bombs and Parisian refugees scatter for their lives—helps to frame an ironic fairy tale.

  • most films repress the knowledge that they are destined to become graveyards teeming with ghosts. Forbidden Games is among the few that dare to break this ultimate taboo. Here is a movie obsessed—even besotted—with death. That the principal characters are at the beginning of life just deepens the scandal.

  • Forbidden Games was doubtless touched by some great luck to cast then five-year old Brigitte Fossey for the role of Paulette. Charmed, beguiling, and grief-racked, Fossey’s Paulette belongs among the great child roles, kin to Jean-Pierre Léaud’s Antoine Doinel and Tatum O’Neal’s Addie Loggins.

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