“Emmanuelle” – Chris Luedtke

Emmanuelle is easily one of the most controversial French films ever made. When it was released back in 1974, it set the standard for many of the scrambled soft core pornos you watch late at night by yourself. So, what’s the difference between this and those? Well, quite a bit actually.

Director Just Jaeckin had a more artistic vision beyond that of tits and ass. The set designs are beautiful, and everyone moves in a fluent, erotic fashion. The underwater shot of Emmanuelle (Sylvia Kristel) is vibrant and gorgeous as she swims around carelessly.

Sure, it looks set up for a bunch of people to make like rabbits and do the naughty, but Jaeckin doesn’t make that the film’s constant focus. The main focus is Emmanuelle’s naive mindset. This is especially obvious as she constantly tries to make contact with Bee (Marika Green), a member of the group looked down up by the rest of the girls. Often we find Emmanuelle being made fun of for just being flat-out dumb, and this can get quite irritating. More often than not, she’s like a dog that’s just
been shown a card trick.

That’s not to say that she doesn’t grow up or mature. There is some character progression in here, but it’s nothing you won’t see coming from miles away. Much of the character progression is often shown through acts/depictions of sex and/or sexual activity. This is easily the most annoying part of the film. While I know its erotica, its also known as one of the better ones.

Overall, the film is just below mediocre. I can’t recommended it even to those looking for soft core, because there’s just the right amount of sex that can easily turn off those with red-hot blood. If you want a piece of controversial film or just have an interest in where soft core was revolutionized, then go for it, but prepare to be bored out of your mind.

Rating: ★★☆☆

-Chris Luedtke

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