Nobody Wants to Play With Me (1976) is a Werner Herzog short which seems to have been produced for some public education scheme to encourage kids to play nice. I think it means to be cute, but of course it has a sinister undercurrent running right through it. Maybe it's just because little kids speaking German make me think of Lang's M, and although the kids in that are victims, not monsters, they're somehow rendered macabre by association.
The performances of the kindergarten kids are, like those of the little people in Even Dwarfs Started Small, just exactly as they are. Herzog relies on the overwhelming reality of his cast's littleness to compensate for any unreality in their line readings. This may not work, exactly, but you can tell that's what he's doing. The only line that carries any conviction is one that's whispered. Instruct a small child to whisper and he immediately becomes a convincing actor. I'm thinking of a particular scene in Spirit of the Beehive. But somebody should make a film starring small kids where they have to whisper all the way through. Seriously. I would watch such a film.
The Forgotten is a regular Thursday column by David Cairns, author of Shadowplay.