FORBIDDEN GAMES
JEUX INTERDITS
1952, Rialto Pictures, 86 min, France, Dir: René Clément

When her parents are killed by an air strike while fleeing Paris during the German invasion, 5-year-old Paulette (Brigitte Fossey) wanders into the French countryside, where she encounters 11-year-old peasant boy Michel (Georges Poujouly). As they build a special, secret friendship, the adults around them play their own games of buffoonish peasant feuds. Ultimately beautiful, hilarious and disturbing, this masterpiece of French postwar cinema won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and the Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film.


THE DAMNED
LES MAUDITS
1947, Cohen Films, 105 min, Dir: René Clément

Claustrophobic action on the high seas has never been so packed with tension when a doctor (Henri Vidal) kidnapped by a group of desperate Nazis fleeing for South America in a submarine must keep the mistress of a general (Florence Marly) alive and somehow escape his own death at the hands of the absconding war criminals. René Clément brilliantly depicts a deadly cat-and-mouse game in the tightest of all possible spaces. The film was the recipient of the Grand Prix at Cannes in 1947. With Marcel Dalio, Anne Campion, Michel Auclair and Paul Bernard. In French with English subtitles.


JOY HOUSE
LES FELINS
1964, EuropaCorp, 97 min, Dir: René Clément

Handsome gigolo Alain Delon, on the run from murderous thugs hired by the husband of one of his conquests, flees to the Riviera, where he takes refuge in a religious shelter operated by a rich, mysterious widow (Lola Albright). She hides him in her Gothic mansion, where he suddenly finds himself in a strange love triangle featuring the widow’s sex-starved niece (Jane Fonda). The twists (and curves) just keep coming at Delon, who might be in more danger in his hiding place. René Clément returns to form with this terrific transitional noir with one foot in both the past and the future. With a fabulous ’60s score from Lalo Schifrin. In French with English subtitles.


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