Romy Schneider is luminous. The facets of love....the pain and the pleasure. The longing and the lust. The lies we tell others and the lies we tell ourselves. The hurt we endure just to remain in proximity to the object of desire. The promise of love sometimes fulfilled. Yet for how long?
"Don't build a monument to pity." - Servais. Żuławski expertly combines wandering but tight shots to capture even the most minute reactions from his leads as they traverse the underworld physically and emotionally, figuatively and literally. It's a rare film that can marry high and low brow to yield such a crackling experience. Żuławski may have felt the important thing is to love, but if that's how it is, I'll pass.
I never thought I'd say that Klaus Kinsky is brilliant in a film, but he is in this one. He's also the only thing that is. It's otherwise a barely-comprehensible mess, with occasional splashes of soft-core porn. OK, watch it for the porn as well. Kinsky and porn.
(3.5 stars) An odd exploration of love brought to you by the equally odd filmmaker Zulawski. Romy Schneider is amazing in her role as an emotionally unstable actress who is caught in love sammich between her husband and a photographer stalker dude. And..... KLAUS KINSKI !! Yes. Kinski plays a crazy actor (big stretch there, heh) and we get to see him do a little Richard III onstage. My life is now complete.
I can see why this is Romy Schneider's favorite work she has been in. It really allows her to play a wide variety of emotions. And for Zulawski, what does the craziest director do? He hires the craziest actor, Klaus Kinski. It's a bit of an assault on the senses.
A high 2.5. Reads like a bizarro Godard film, if Godard had a taste for those loopy long takes of writhing bodies that Zulawski exploits to much better effect in other efforts. Will go from a very coordinated scene of group direction - say, the first rehearsal - to some pitiful, shallow showmanship - Kinski's violent outburst. Zulawski works better when the pressure is higher. Romy's great, Dutronc's a thrill.