Monday, June 6, 2016

Emmanuelle (1974)

Emmanuelle (1974)

Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn had a Nitehawk Naughties series where they play a selection of mostly soft core porn films and other types of sex or sexually driven films.  This current version of the series happens to be sponsored by Babeland, a local sex shop that sells sex toys of all varieties.  This week they gave out free vibrators to everyone who showed up!

Emmanuelle is a classic soft core porn movie that was huge in its day.  It was based on a book of the same name, and directed by photographer Just Jaeckin.  The book was released in 1959, and was about a woman seeking out self discovery through sexual adventures.  Although the book was originally attributed as being written by a woman named Emmanuelle, it was actually written by her husband, but the basic plot did mirror their lives. 

The plot is relatively simple.  A woman is married to an older man, who believes in free love and no jealousy.  He encourages her to have sex with many people, but she is shy and not so sure.  At some point she runs off with a woman who she falls for, and then comes back brokenhearted.  Her husband decides that she needs to take on a much older lover who will teach her the erotic side of sexual pleasure. 

This is the movie that brought Sylvia Kristel international fame, and giving her a career that lasted until very close to her death.  She was a model and actress, and a very beautiful woman with some of the most incredible boobs anyone has ever seen.  Even my girlfriend went on about how great her boobs were in this movie. 

This movie was a first, in that a major movie company distributed it in the US, a first for an X rated film.  They claimed it was because women overseas really loved this film.  Although there are no hardcore porn scenes in this, there is a ton of nudity, lesbianism, soft core sex, and rape.  The second half of the movie gets pretty dark, but this was the 1970s and this was and is a big part of the sexuality of some people. 

Since the director, Just Jaeckin, was a photographer, the film is shot beautifully.  He captured Thailand in the early 1970's as a beautiful but seedy place with amazing colors all around.  He also really knows how to shoot women.  Other than this film, he directed a few other things, including The Story Of O, which is another popular sex novel of the time, and my personal favorite, The Perils Of Gwendolyn In The Land Of The Yik Yak.  That last film starred Tawny Kitaen, another actress with amazing boobs.  Are we seeing a trend here?

The soundtrack of the movie is pretty interesting as well, sounding both Euro-sleazy and prog rock at the same time, due to them ripping off a King Crimson song for one of the themes.  They got sued for that little problem. 

The acting is decent for this type of film, and it moves along pretty quickly though this is not am action oriented movie, unless you mean sexual action.  I can get a bit slow at parts, but it isn't long before someone is naked or doing something to another person.  All in all this holds up pretty well for a movie that is 42 years old, and it is way more sexy and erotic than anything Fifty Shades Of Grey threw on the screen. 

7 out of 10 stars.