Great Songs/Themes in Films #2: Narciso Yepes – Romance from ‘Jeux Interdits’ (1952)

 

The little girl on the record label, the character Paulette in René Clément‘s masterpiece Jeux Interdits (Forbidden Games) , is the actress Brigitte Fossey.  Now 64 years old, she has had a lengthy and productive career in French cinema.

The theme song from the film, which would be haunting in any context, is a shattering musical backdrop for this film about the impact of World War II on a French peasant family. The composer and performer was Narciso Yepes, an acclaimed classical guitarist from Spain. You very well may have heard the theme without knowing its origin. I have noticed that it is a standard part of the street/subway guitarist’s repertoire.

I won’t spoil the ending of the film,  but I don’t know anyone who has watched the film’s final few minutes who hasn’t experienced either run of the mill sadness or complete despair.

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