While the Cinémathèque is offering a major exhibition, Netflix is adding nine feature films starring Romy Schneider to its catalog. What to see first?
On May 29, 1982 at the age of 43 passed away Romy Schneider. 40 years later, the icon has become a legend that continues to fascinate new generations of moviegoers. The arrival of nine feature films on Netflix should make it possible to extend this aura a little more. Here are the ones that it is imperative to have seen at least once in your life.
Romy Schneider exhibits at the Cinémathèque française from March 16 to July 31
Jacques Deray’s swimming pool (1968)
And Romy became Schneider again. At the end of the sixties, the actress lived in Germany, aspiring to a tidier existence. But her former lover, Alain Delon, intends to bring her back into the spotlight. He thus succeeds in convincing her to taste in his company the troubled waters of The swimming pool, a thriller by Jacques Deray. The film therefore marks the reunion of two icons and will not hesitate to mythologize this rapprochement. The Delon-Schneider couple seems to love each other as on the first day even if everything on the screen seems to contradict the divine idyll. In fact, on this sunny noir film, there floats an odor of death which immediately excludes a possible passion. The swimming pool describes how two lovebirds (Delon-Schneider of course) unconcerned about the noises of the world in their villa above Saint Trop’ will see their indolence disturbed by the arrival of a playboy (Maurice Ronet) and his daughter (Jane Birkin). A murder will rush this little world into a climate of anxiety and tension. On screen, Alain and Romy rub shoulders, aware that a legend may be being rewritten, but remain constantly separated by a staging fooled by nothing. The melancholic actress gazes at the Apollo she once loved with haughty longing. As for the Greek God of French cinema, too sure of his charms, he seems quite alone with his certainties. This couple is a fantasy machine that necessarily overflows the frame. A timeless classic.
The Things of Life (1969)
Why Things of life and not Max and the Junkmen or better Caesar and Rosalie of the same Claude Sautet? Because once you have seen this first collaboration between the filmmaker and the one who would become his muse, you will have only one desire: to throw yourself on the other two. Romy Schneider in a magnetic momentum always imposes herself a little more over these three essential films. The story goes that it’s in a recording studio as Romy Schneider was laying down vocals to finalize The swimming pool that Claude Sautet met the actress for the first time. He decided almost immediately that she would be his Hélène des things of life. A role certainly secondary, but which by the presence of the actress was going to impose itself in front of the frame and the collective memory. “My dad always told me I was photogenic, don’t worry about that!“, The actress would then have said to Claude Sautet to reassure him that he had only given her a “small” score. Things of life, this is the story of a break-up letter that we regret having written and above all kept. It is also and above all the story of a car accident that forces you to review your life in a hurry. Michel Piccoli is driving, Romy Schneider in his thoughts. The couple will find themselves in stride in Max and the Junkmen.
The important thing is to love (1975)
Almost ten years after his big comeback thanks to The swimming pool, Romy Schneider has become one of the greatest actresses of French cinema. However, she does not choose the easy way out and never ceases to take on extreme roles full of ambiguities, cracks and contradictions. Whether with Luchino Visconti (Ludwig or the Twilight of the Gods), Claude Chabrol (The innocents with dirty hands) or Robert Enrico (The Old Rifle). Andrzej Zulawski will offer him better: a crossing of the mirror. In The important thing is to love, Romy Schneider embodies a struggling actress who, to make ends meet, accepts “olé olé” roles in broke productions. In the first few minutes, looking at the camera, her eyes filled with tears, she begs the set photographer to leave her alone: ”Don’t take pictures, I beg you… said his anguished character. I’m an actress you know? I know how to do things well… I do that to eat…“This heartbreaking sequence has since been shown in all drama schools. The film earned Romy Schneider her first César. Worship.