This opening sequence is beautifully photographed and edited, drawing me into the film. The train hurtling forward takes us into a plot driven by lust, jealousy and murder. Yes, I recorded and watched the entire film. The classic noir plot of a woman driving men to desperate acts is here, told by the great director Jean Renoir.
Filming the game and song from above establishes the vulnerability of the children. Lingering angular shots of railings and stairwells, as well as lengthening shadows, make everyday objects seem ominous. Noir films often use offbeat angles and shadows to establish unsettled mood. The "pretty ball" bounced against the kiosk displaying the wanted poster becomes an object of dread when the shadow appears.