Home / Podcasts / Daughters of Darkness / ​Episode 5: I Can’t Be Close to You Without Suffering: The Cinema of Andrzej Żuławski, Part 2
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​Episode 5: I Can’t Be Close to You Without Suffering: The Cinema of Andrzej Żuławski, Part 2


In the fifth episode of Daughters of Darkness, Kat and Samm continue on to the second part of their four-episode discussion of director Andrzej Zuławski. This time they discuss his work in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, when he was forced to leave Poland over the controversy surrounding his film The Devil (1972), which was banned by the communist government. His first French film, L’important c’est d’aimer (1975), which really launched his career in Europe, featured an international cast including Romy Schneider, Fabio Testi, and Klaus Kinski. Set in the worlds of soft and hardcore pornography, as well as avant garde theatre, it explores the tragic love triangle between a struggling actress and a photographer.

This is followed by a lengthy discussion of On the Silver Globe (1988) — a surreal sci-fi epic based on a novel written by his own uncle — a film he returned to Poland to make after the success of L’important c’est d’aimer. But after a costly and intensive shoot that was nearly complete, the Polish government canceled this production and Zuławski wasn’t able to complete it for another decade. It remains unfinished, though it was recently restored. The episode concludes with a look at Zuławski’s most famous film, Possession (1981), an unsettling work about the dissolution of a marriage in divided Berlin starring Sam Neill and Isabelle Adjani.

Kat and Samm mention the Projection Booth’s episode on Possession, which includes an in-depth interview with co-writer Frederic Tuten, and Film Movement’s new Kickstarter campaign to restore the forgotten sci-fi/crime gem Kamikaze ’89, which stars Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

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  1. Fucking Neil LaBute!

    Another excellent show. Very much looking forward to the upcoming episodes focusing on some of the more neglected titles, particular My Nights…, La note bleue and Fidelity. Then again, with the exception of Possession, perhaps all of Zulawski’s filmography could be considered “neglected”. I’m in complete agreement that its both perplexing and somewhat frustrating that more people who enjoy Possession just leave it at that. Even if they like Possession strictly for its genre elements, you’d think they’d at least be interested in the likes of Third Part of the Night, Diabel and Szamanka . Oh well. Their loss I suppose.

    As an aside, 1975 sure was a hell of a year for Fabio Testi, getting to work with not only Zulawski but Fulci as well, and I’ve always though it a bit interesting that both L’important c’est d’aimer and Four of the Apocalypse came out in ’75 considering his romance with Lynne Frederick in the later film isn’t exactly a stroll though the grass on a sunny day either.

    • Thank you Tom! So glad you enjoyed it 🙂

      Yes, Neil will from now on be one of our unofficial mascots over at Daughters of Darkness!

  2. Loved this episode, fond memories came flooding back of discovering Zulawski via Eyeball magazine, POSSESSION mainly at first – so much in agreement, Stephen Thrower and Daniel Bird’s writing is mind-blowing on this film. Also very much worth mentioning Patricia MacCormack has written some extraordinary stuff on POSSESSION. Yet it was finding a VTC original tape of the film in a Sheffield junk shop for 50p, wagging Uni, and running home knowing the house would be empty and a perfect midday viewing opportunity was at hand to finally experience this film. I was stunned, repulsed, terrified and exhilarated. A bath followed where I came to in what was now freezing water, unable to shake the images and sounds that I had experienced from POSSESSION for the past I wasn’t how many hours ago now……..But definitely, it opened a deep love of Zulawski’s cinema, POSSESSION an experience like no other…..except for his other films 🙂 which I’ve actively sought since and would urge anyone to do the same.

    Ace episode this, and although a relative newcomer to the podcast, its so refreshing to get a mix of down-to-earth critique filled with so much passion, hilarious asides and just simply tons and tons of knowledge.

    Great stuff – the Franco ep was mega too!! Look forward to the rest, and future installments.

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