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July 23, 2006



John D. Lamond - 1979
Severin Films Region 0 DVD

Even without listening to the commentary track for Felicity, director John Lamond clearly identifies his source of inspiration. Glory Annen is seen with two books from Just Jaeckin's library, The Story of O and Emmanuelle. Another literary reference is Erica Jong's Fear of Flying. A scene of Felicity with another school girl recalls the erotic photography of David Hamilton. I was unfamiliar with Felicity prior to seeing the DVD, but ultimately not surprised that the film enjoyed life as a staple on Cinemax about twenty years ago.

Emmanuelle may have also inspired the choice to have this story of a young woman's coming of age take place in Hong Kong. By some standards this is vanilla erotica that is not too different from the stuff piped on cable nowadays except that none of the performers have been nipped or tucked. Toothy, chipmunk cheeked Glory Annen would probably not be considered star material by contemporary standards. Other reminders of the film made in a totally different era are a total disregard for anything resembling "safe sex", and even more shocking, a shot of a man smoking on an airplane.

Compared to the films of Russ Meyer or Radley Metzger, Felicity is a light-weight trifle with no greater ambition than to be entertainment at the drive-in. It's not the kind of film meant for serious analysis nor should it be. The commentary by Lamond and Annen virtually makes the film seem like a filmed holiday, with an emphasis, in their words, on "innocent fun".

For those who prefer something a bit darker and kinkier, Severin Films is promising two films from the industrious Jesus Franco and his muse, Lina Romay.

Posted by peter at July 23, 2006 05:44 PM