The book and the movie: Les Enfants Terribles / The Holy Terrors | Jean Cocteau, 1929 / Jean-Pierre Melville, 1950


The book and the movie:  Les Enfants Terribles / The Holy Terrors | Jean Cocteau, 1929 / Jean-Pierre Melville, 1950

Jean Cocteau, Les enfants terribles (The Holy Terrors), 1929

“At all costs the true world of childhood must prevail, must be restored; that world whose momentous, heroic, mysterious quality is fed on airy nothings, whose substance is so ill-fitted to withstand the  brutal touch of adult inquisition.”

“What uniform can I wear to hide my heavy heart? It is too heavy. It will always show. Jacques felt himself growing gloomy again. He was well aware that to live on earth a man must follow its fashions, and hearts were no longer worn.”
“The world owes its enchantment to these curious creatures and their fancies, but its multiple
 complicity rejects them. Thistledown spirits, tragic, heart-rending in their evanescence, they
 must go blowing headlong to perdition. And yet, all started harmlessly, in childish games
 and laughter…”
“A child’s reaction to this type of calamity is twofold and extreme. Not knowing how deeply, powerfully, life drops anchor into its vast sources of recuperation, he is bound to envisage, at once, the very worst; yet at the same time, because of his inability to imagine death, the worst remains totally unreal to him. Gerard went on repeating: “Paul’s dying; Paul’s going to die”‘ but he did not believe it. Paul’s death would be part of the dream, a dream of snow, of journeying forever.”
“Vast are the privileges of beauty – even among those unaware of it.” 
“She did not thank him. She was accustomed to miracles and accepted them as 
part of daily life. She expected them to happen, and they always did.”
Jean PierreMelville0EnfantsTerribles16
“The actual tragedies of life bear no relation to one’s preconceived ideas. In the event, 
one is always bewildered by their simplicity, their grandeur of design, and by that 
element of the bizarre which seems inherent in them.”
EnfantsTerribles18Jean PierreMelville
Melvyn Martin – Were You Smiling At Me? (1950)


Les enfants terribles (1950) 
Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Writers: Jean Cocteau (novel)
Stars: Nicole Stéphane, Edouard Dermithe, Renée Cosima
Costume Design: Christian Dior
Jean Cocteau and Jean-Pierre Melville

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