The Main Thing Is to Love (1975)

Genres - Drama, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Drama, Romantic Drama, Showbiz Drama  |   Run Time - 110 min.  |   Countries - France   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Michael Hastings

One of the more enduring efforts from iconoclastic director Andrzej Zulawski, this hallucinatory psychological romance helped establish the moods, themes, and techniques that would inform the director's work through the 1980s and 1990s. Somewhere between the hip, laconic spectatorship of Blow-Up-era Michelangelo Antonioni and the urgent, operatic work of Roman Polanski, L'Important revolves around a disaffected photographer (Fabio Testi) and the struggling actress (Romy Schneider) with whom he becomes obsessed, to the consternation of her jester-like husband (Jacques Dutronc). Zulawski seems less interested in the film's skeletal narrative than in the wildly modulated emotions the story can evince from his cast: His approach results in performances memorable for their subtlety (Dutronc) as well as for their histrionic bravado (Klaus Kinski, in a small but telling role). As with much of the director's work, L'Important met with derision from critics who misinterpreted his seemingly scattershot technique; love it or hate it, Zulawski clearly intends to forge a new cinematic language.