Man for Emmanuelle, A / Io, Emmanuelle (1969)

4.0 out of 5

Here is something that could’ve been a dull and shallow sex film, and because it’s not, some may be disappointed. It’s a sex film alright, but one that deals with the anguish and complicated sexual nature of its title character, played with infallible elegance by Erika Blanc.

The art-house film style will be a plus to some, and fans of the ‘60s will feel at home, but the film also offers good incentive to take it seriously since it concerns itself more with setting up an interesting character analysis and less with trying to arouse viewers, which it is still capable of doing, nonetheless.

There’s also some decent humor on display, especially from the segment with Adolfo Celi, but despite the occasional lightheartedness there’s also a downbeat vibe of melancholy peppered throughout the proceedings. There still ends up being something fulfilling about it all in the end, especially given the astounding 3-minute Emmanuelle theme song, played in full twice, and the vision of Blanc covered in milk is a classy and high quality work of art itself.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics