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Charles Matton
France 1976 / 103’
I Love You, I Don’t Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song

Erotic science fiction whose original, enigmatic title was: Love is a river in Russia. A sophisticated, original vision clashes with bluntness, sexual revolution with sexism. Many other ambitious artists from the era who wanted to valorize erotica shared a similar ambivalence. The action in Spermula takes place on fanciful sets, where art deco meets retro-futurism. The Spermulans come to Earth in the form of beautiful women on a sex mission: they are to deprive men of their life-giving fluids and then colonize the emptying planet. Pastel make-up, a vintage spaceship, satin bed sheets, an old Rolls-Royce and sensual music that creates a cosmic (almost camp) visual feast. In this extravagant film, which is one of Bertrand Mandico’s (The Wild Boys) favorites, and whose unbridled imagination paved the way for the creators of cinéma du look, Carax and Beineix, Udo Kier took his first acting steps (as the target of a Spermulan prank). And we also have a chance to admire top model Dayle Haddon, as well as Ginette Leclerc, also known from Borowczyk’s Goto, Island of Love.

Małgorzata Sadowska

Charles Matton

Charles Matton (1931–2008) was a French sculptor, painter, illustrator, stage designer and director. He created miniature interiors: from the carefully reconstructed interiors of the studios of well-known artists, through microscopic bathrooms, corridors and hotel rooms, to libraries. As a filmmaker, he came to prominence with the documentary Mai 68 ou les violences policières, which he made together with Hedy Khalifat, and which was praised by none other than Jean-Luc Godard himself. Matton’s feature debut, L'italien des Roses, was presented in the Venetian section of Semaine de la Critique in 1972.


1967 La pomme ou l’histoire d’une histoire (short)

1968 Mai 68 ou les violences policières (short)

1972 L’italien des Roses / The Italian of the Roses

1976 Spermula (aka L’amour est un fleuve en Russie)

1993 La lumière des étoiles mortes / The Light of the Dead Stars

1998 Rembrandt

Cast & Crew

director Charles Matton
screenplay Charles Matton
cinematography Jean-Jacques Flori
editing Isabelle Rathery, Sarah Taouss-Matton
music José Bartel
cast Dayle Haddon, Udo Kier, François Dunoyer
producer Bernard Lenteric
production 5 Continents, Film and Co.
sales Sylvie Matton
language French
colouration colour