Maverick auteur Andrzej Żuławski directs this flamboyant adaptation of classic French novel La princesse de Cleves, complete with dirt bike races, hot sex, and naked hockey players. Talented Canadian photographer Clelia (Sophie Marceau) lands a financially lucrative job in Paris at a rumor-mongering tabloid called La Vérité run by Rupert MacRoi (Michel Subor). Though she finds most of her coworkers to be disillusioned and perverse, she happens upon Cleve (Pascal Greggory), a bumbling middle-aged children’s book publisher. Cleve is days away from marrying MacRoi’s daughter to bolster his flagging publishing house. Nonetheless, Clelia and Cleve retire to his office to make love almost immediately upon meeting. Though MacRoi has already bought his company, Cleve breaks off his wedding plans and proposes to Clelia. Enter Nemo (Guillaume Canet), a sexy young photographer who promptly propositions her upon their first encounter. In spite of her ferocious sexual attraction to Nemo, Clelia marries Cleve and resolutely plans to keep to her wedding vows in the face of her suitor’s continued advances. —Andrzej-Zulawski.com
Andrzej Zulawski was born on the territory of what was then the U.S.S.R. in a Polish family with remarkable traditions in arts and literature. After World War II, his father’s diplomatic career brought the family to France (1945-1949), Czechoslovakia (1949-1952), and finally to Poland. He studied film direction at IDHEC in Paris (1957-1959) and philosophy at both Warsaw University (1961) and Université de Paris (1962-1964).
First, he assisted the famous Polish director Andrzej Wajda during the filming of Samson (1961), Popioly (1966), and the Warsaw episode of L’Amour à Vingt Ans (1962). In 1967, Zulawski directed two short films, Piesn Triumfujacej Milosci and Pavoncello, for Polish TV.
His feature debut, Trzecia Czesc Nocy (1971), as well as those previous films were co-scripted by his father, poet Miroslaw Zulawski. The picture was well received at the Venice Film Festival and awarded as the Best Debut in its homeland, but had only limited release due to Polish censorship… read more
A discussion with director for his first US retrospective.