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I Love You, I Don’t

Serge Gainsbourg
Je t’aime moi non plus
France 1976 / 89’
Extreme Private Eros: Love Song Spermula

The perverse directorial debut of Serge Gainsbourg, who also came up with the famous title song. From the very first scene, I Love You, I Don’t leaves no doubt about the fact that the main protagonist is going to be anal sex, and the goal moral provocation. Krasski (Joe Dallesandro, a gay icon from the New York underground who appeared in works by Warhol and Morrissey) and Padovan (Hugues Quester) are garbage collectors. And as befits them, they adore unclean, disgusting, shameful things. In short: moral decay. On their journey through the French boondocks—an area reminiscent of Texas—the two men, who are involved in an ambiguous relationship, meet an androgynous waitress named Johnny (Jane Birkin). Thus begins a sexual threesome that achieves non-normative ecstasy on-screen and brings to life the dirtiest, morbid erotic fantasies imaginable. They are observed by a local peasant (Gerard Depardieu) with a mixture of arousal and revulsion. Gainsbourg’s film valorizes sex as an autonomous, rebellious force detached from procreation and thus independent of family structures. The film features trash aesthetics, homoerotic fantasies, rock energy and an erotic allure emanating from the three main characters. It emanates so intensely that the film was banned in Great Britain for three decades. 

Małgorzata Sadowska

Serge Gainsbourg

Serge Gainsbourg (1928–1991), an icon of French music, was a singer, composer, songwriter, director, screenwriter and actor. He wrote for, among others, Juliette Greco, Françoise Hardy and a young Vanessa Paradis when she was just at the start of her career. He appeared in dozens of films, and he directed four full-length features. He was one of the most colorful and most scandalous figures of his era. 


1976 Kocha, nie kocha / Je t'aime moi non plus /  I Love You, I Don’t

1982 Scarface (short)

1983 Équateur

1986 Charlotte For Ever

1989 Stan The Flasher

Cast & Crew

director Serge Gainsbourg
screenplay Serge Gainsbourg
cinematography Willy Kurant
editing Kenout Peltier
music Serge Gainsbourg
cast Jane Birkin, Joe Dallesandro, Hugues Quester
producer Jacques-Eric Strauss
production Président Films, Renn Productions
sales Tamasa
language French
colouration colour