Archive of films The Most Important Thing: Love / L’ important c'est d’aimer

France / Italy / Germany
1975, 109 min

Section: Future Frames’ Mentor: Denis Côté
Year: 2017

Romy Schneider appears in the role of the beautiful Nadine, torn between her love for two men, a part which brought her a César for Best Actress. The cast also boasted other major stars of the day – Fabio Testi played the lover, and singer Jacques Dutronc took on the role of the husband. Andrzej Żuławski came out with an expressive melodrama filled with passion, tears, all manner of violence, and lightning twists.


Beautiful Nadine is caught between two men she loves deeply – this brief description might serve to convey the central motif of the film. Yet Żuławski’s drama is a reflection of the director’s perspective on human relationships and, as such, can only end in tragedy. Nadine is an actress appearing in trashy films, fragile Jacques is her devoted husband, and Servais is a photographer who borrows money from wealthy but perverse old men in order to help Nadine get a stage part in Richard III. This film is nevertheless also about the hopelessness of the situations people find themselves in, it’s about innocent victims and all-pervading evil, and it describes the conditions out there somewhere on the very fringes of the film industry. Żuławski here asserts his reputation as a sublime filmmaker who speaks in the language of extremes, both in terms of subject matter and expression. He knows how to exploit melodrama in an innovative way and to draw out vivid, eloquent performances from his cast. Nadine is one of Romy Schneider’s key roles and she made such an impression on Pedro Almodóvar that he declared her one of the inspirations for the film All About My Mother.

Zdena Škapová

About the director

Andrzej Żuławski

Andrzej Żuławski (b. 1940, Lwów – 2016, Warsaw) was a Polish director, screenwriter and author. He did shoot some of his films in his native country, but the majority of his works were made in France, where he had studied film in the 1950s. After two television movies he debuted with the psychological war drama The Third Part of the Night (1971), which incited controversy upon its release, as did most of his thirteen films. In his work he adopted a postmodern stance in order to blend reality with various genres and fantastic motifs, and he would provoke his audiences with his opulent, erotic and drastic scenes. A recurring theme of his dynamic and visually expressive, star-studded movies was the manipulation of human emotions and thought processes. Selected filmography: The Devil (1972), Possession (1981), L’Amour braque (1985), The Blue Note (1990), Fidelity (2000), Cosmos (2015).


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About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Future Frames’ Mentor: Denis Côté
Director: Andrzej Żuławski
Screenplay: Christopher Frank, Andrzej Żuławski podle románu / based on the novel by Christopher Frank
Dir. of Photography: Ricardo Aronovich
Music: Georges Delerue
Editor: Christiane Lack
Art Director: Jean-Pierre Kohut-Svelko
Producer: Albina du Boisrouvray
Production: Albina Productions S.a.r.l.
Coproduction: Rizzoli Film, TIT Filmproduktion GmbH
Cast: Romy Schneider, Fabio Testi, Jacques Dutronc, Claude Dauphin
Sales: Tamasa Distribution

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