Saturday, December 4, 2010

#120. Emmanuelle (1974)

DVD Synopsis: In Bangkok, Emmanuelle (Sylvia Kristel), the young wife of a French diplomat, enters the world of sensuality and sexual passion. Guided by the mature Mario (Alain Cuny), and with the complicity of her husband (Daniel Sarky), she discovers the delights of eroticism and lets herself slide into pleasure. Based on the controversial book by Emmanuelle Arsan, Emmanuelle remains a ground-breaking picture: the first openly erotic film meant for the general public.

Emmanuelle is the film that started it all, an adult movie so successful that it spawned an entire series. Yet where the quality of it's sequels would prove to be mediocre at best, the original remains an erotic masterpiece, thanks in large part to the efforts of two individuals: Sylvia Kristel and Richard Suzuki. 

A strikingly beautiful woman, Kristel exudes, in equal parts, sex appeal and innocence as Emmanuelle, a woman who, despite a supposed lack of "experience", successfully seduces members of both sexes.  Another "beautiful" aspect of Emmanuelle is the cinematography of Richard Suzuki, whose camera uncovers all the exotic splendor of the film's Thailand setting (in one particular sequence, where Emmanuelle spends a romantic afternoon with Bee (Marika Green), an archaeologist she seduced at a party, the location shots are especially breathtaking). 

A soft-core classic, Emmanuelle remains just as stimulating today as it was in 1974.

Please leave a comment below... I'd love to hear from you


Wayne Kotke said...

I'd say your assessment is quite correct: the two stars here are definitely Kristel and the cinematography, both lovely. It's kind of a shame that nothing like this movie is being made today. I suppose "The Dreamers" (with the stunning Eva Green) is the last one I can remember, i.e. an erotic drama with high-end production values.

Dave Becker said...

@Wayne: Thanks for the comment, and yes, both the cinematography and Kritsel are stunning to behold. The comparison to THE DREAMERS is a good one (another movie I adore, BTW).

Thanks again!

Kim Serrahn said...

I was all of 19 when I saw this film and I have never seen it since. Not because I thought it was a "dirty" film but because I never got around to seeing it again.