March 9th, 2008

MASCULINE FEMININE (1966) *

I’m not hip to the whole Jean-Luc Godard French New Wave thing, but since my wife got this on Netflix, I’d figure I’d give it a shot.  The only other Godard flick that I’ve seen was Sympathy for the Devil.  That flick didn’t make a lick of sense, but it at least had the benefit of some truly awesome Stones tunes.  This flick doesn’t make a lick of sense either, but unfortunately, all the music is French bubblegum ear fucking. 

 

It’s all about this dude named Paul who is in love with a pop singer named Madeline.  They have monotonous, pretentious conversations about nothing in particular until you slowly start to drift off to sleep.  Every so often something completely arbitrary will happen that will jar you back into consciousness, like someone randomly getting gunned down, or stabbing themselves, or Brigitte Bardot reading a book, which will make you sit up and say “What in the blue fuck just happened?” 

 

I have no idea.  The flick maybe a classic to some people, but to me it was just your typical arty French flick that made me want to slap everyone with the remotest of French ancestry.  I know everyone says Breathless is Godard’s masterpiece, and although I’ve always wanted to check it out, this shit fest doesn’t necessarily make me want to rush out and see it. 

EMANUELLE GOES TO CANNES (1985) **

 

Olinka Hardiman stars as Emanuelle in this unofficial sequel from producer Dick (Pieces) Randall.  Emanuelle desperately wants to forget her life as a stripper and part time prostitute, so she leaves her manipulative pimp and heads to the Cannes Film Festival where she hopes she’ll be discovered and become a star.  Once there, she dances naked on the beach, balls an actor on a yacht and has a lesbian tryst with a female director.  Even though she gets a part in a movie, she still longs for the indifferent embrace of her misogynistic pimp and in the end, has him fly out to France to pick her up and put her back on the street corner where she belongs. 

 

You know, for a piecemeal, filmed on the sly, cheapjack sequel, Emanuelle Goes to Cannes works better than it should.  You can tell somebody just took Hardiman to the Cannes Film Festival, filmed her walking around town and then tried to pass it off as an Emanuelle movie.   (The film would make a good double feature with Fanatic in that respect.)  The filmmakers nicely capture the atmosphere of the Cannes Film Festival, although admittedly all they needed to do was grab a camera and walk around their hotel.  It’s fun seeing billboards announcing “upcoming” movies such as Bad Timing, The Big Brawl, and Carbon Copy, all films which found distribution long before this flick did.  We don’t see any human stars walking along the Riviera, but we DO get to see Benji being interviewed!  I don’t know about you, but the cheap thrill of seeing Benji in a low rent Emanuelle sequel is almost enough to make me want to recommend this flick. 

 

The sex scenes aren’t very titillating, but they have a certain charm about them.  Consider the scene where Emanuelle catches her pimp cheating on her with another ho and he slyly convinces her into having a threesome so he wouldn’t be technically cheating.  It’s far from a realistic reaction, but it’s pretty amusing. 

 

Although the flick is fun, and whizzes by at a steady clip (it runs a scant 75 minutes), it still has more than it’s share of debits.  The biggest problem is erratic editing.  It looks like it was originally filmed as a hardcore flick because the editing is quite jarring during the sex scenes (especially whenever someone is getting a humjob).  The slipshod cutting diffuses the sexual tension of these scenes and interrupts the flow of the debauchery.  Emanuelle’s constant voiceovers don’t help matters any.  She frequently inform us on all things happening in the past, present and future, but the real reason she’s always narrating is because it saves the producers lots of money on the dubbing.  There’s also an annoying song that goes “Ting-ta-ta-ting-ting-ting!” a thousand times or so, that will literally drive you up the fucking wall.

 

Hardiman is quite good and carries the movie with a modicum of pulchritude.  She has a sluttiness about her that is very natural and she never once looks like she’s “acting”, which is the best compliment I can give her I guess.  She also gets the best line of the entire movie when she says:  “He had me trained like a seal, only it wasn’t a horn I had to blow!”

 

AKA:  The Elementary Stud.

THE INCONFESSABLE ORGIES OF EMANUELLE (1982) *

 

Jess (Succubus) Franco directed this awful fake Emanuelle movie and it’s the worse one since Black Emanuelle, White Emanuelle.  Inconfessable?  Insufferable is more like it!

 

Emanuelle (Vicky Adams) and her newlywed husband go to a wax museum which gets them so hot and horny that they screw right in front of the display of Humphrey Bogart.  Then they go to a strip club owned by a wealthy nobleman (who also narrates) where Emanuelle gets it on with a space cadet stripper (on stage no less).  After that experience, she swears off men and just makes out with nothing but over the hill lesbian strippers.  This creates a noticeable rift in the marriage (seeing your wife make out with nothing but sexagenarian strippers has a way of bruising the fragile male ego) and they separate.  While her husband takes to banging his neighbor, the vile nobledude plans to corrupt Emanuelle by hiring a bunch of guys to gang rape her, which turns her into a full fledged slut. 

 

The sex scenes in this flick go on FOREVER, which normally wouldn’t be a problemo if they were sexy, but for the most part (with the exception of the opening wax museum fuck) the movie is completely devoid of any eroticism.  Oh there’s plenty of soft core sex to go around, but it’s shot, edited and performed so stiffly that you shouldn’t expect to be aroused by any of it.   

 

The movie also features some of the unsexiest stripping ever seen on the silver screen.  The one chick just kinda takes her clothes off and slowly rocks back and forth from side to side as if she was in an Ambien induced coma.  After she finally bares it all (it takes about ten minutes) she coos, “Don’t you want to taste my goodies?”  I’ve seen better at Lui’s Canton Inn on a Thursday night.  (Of course this girl still had all her teeth, but that’s beside the point.)  Adams looks great naked, but the rest of the women in this flick look more like Alpo poster children than sex sirens.  That is to say they are some serious dogs in the cast.  Honestly, these broads would have fared better with a grocery bag over their heads during their sex scenes than displaying what God gave them. 

 

The dubbing is equally atrocious.  I mean that’s to be expected from a Jess Franco flick, but come on now.  It’s generally accepted that the dialogue will be haphazardly dubbed in, but the panting and moaning during the sex is even worse.  This one scene where Emanuelle’s hubby is going down on a chick is priceless.  He’s got his head buried in her twat and he keeps on breathing heavier than Darth Vader.  I mean what’s the heck is he doing down there, giving her pussy CPR?!?!

 

Adams (AKA:  Muriel Montosse) also starred in Franco’s Cecilia the same year.  

 

AKA:  Emanuelle Forever.  AKA:  Emanuelle Exposed.