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Director: Francis Giacobeti
Cast: Slyvia Kristal, Umberto Orsini, Frederic Lagache, Catherine Rivet, Henri Czarniak, Tom Clark, Marion Womble, Florence L. Afuma, Claire Richard, Laura Gemser, Jacqueline May Line, Eva Hamel, Christiane Gibeline, Jean-Pierre Nam, Marcel Lan Phuong
Genre: Romance, Adult
The French authorities, then more censorious than they are now, classed Emmanuelle 2 as pornography when it first appeared (1975), limiting its distribution and heavily taxing its profits. There is no doubt, however, that the over-reaction was to the idea of a successor to Just Jaeckin's hugely successful Emmanuelle rather than to the completed sequel itself. French culture, it was thought, was not best served by the most avidly awaited slice of Parisian eroticism since the Folies Bergere. Emmanuelle 2 is directed not be Jaeckin but by Francis Giacobetti, another former fashion photographer who proved as good at capturing the human form without clothes as dressed to kill. Giacobetti, however, was determined to increase the film's general visual appeal. Emmanuelle 2 progresses from Hong Kong to Bali so that viewers may be diverted not just by our heroine's sexual exploits but by the sights and sounds of some of the most exotic tourist attractions in the Far East. The film looks as elegant as its predecessor, and at times even better. Its central attraction, however, is hardly the scenery, for Sylvia Kristel once again proves more that equal to her assignment. As Emmanuelle, she not only looks a treat but she acts as if she means it, whether indulging in onanistic fantasies or demanding satisfaction from male or female partners. She is avid without appearing hard, essentially innocent despite everything. And somehow she manages to seem fundamentally on the side of the angels. Emmanuelle 2 may not be great art, but it definitely isn't pornography either. It is actually consummately skilful wish-fulfillment. Which is surely part of what movies are about and what the French cinema, in particular, has always been expert at providing.
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