Jacques Rivette claimed that on the night he happened upon the set of this adaptation of Jean Cocteau’s 1929 novel about the alternate world created by an orphaned brother and sister, director Jean-Pierre Melville was nowhere in sight and Cocteau himself was directing the crew. The tension between director and writer was ongoing, but it was also productive, because the final film—in Manny Farber’s words, a “macabre melodrama about incestuous adolescence” that “rates top honors in every film department”—is an unlikely, incongruous mesh of their two vastly different sensibilities. To quote Truffaut, “The best novel of Jean Cocteau became the best film of Jean-Pierre Melville.” With Édouard Dermit and Nicole Stéphane. A Janus Films release.