04/22/15 9:09am
04/22/2015 9:09 AM |

Brigitte Fossey and Georges Poujouly in René Clément's FORBIDD

Forbidden Games (1952)
Directed by René Clément
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. Paulette is inexplicably orphaned by German aircraft firing on hers and other families fleeing the front lines in early WWII, and then stumbles upon the Dollés, a comically dysfunctional farming family—their father brawls with a neighbor in a fresh grave; Michel, the youngest son, steals crosses to create a secret (and forbidden) cemetery for Paulette. But truly it is Clément that makes his own luck. Boldly weaving the cruel, humorous, and unfathomable into Forbidden Games’s fairytale-dabbled, traumatized daydream, Clément conjures innocence as few ever have: magical, morbid, and desperately half-aware. Jeremy Polacek (Apr 24-May 7 at Film Forum; showtimes daily)