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January 23, 2014

Erotic Blackmail

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Le corps a ses raisons / Rivelazioni erotiche di una governante
Eddy Naka - 1974
One 7 Movies Region 0 DVD

I like the original French title, roughly translated as "The body has its own reasons". Literary types will recognize this as a play on the maxim attributed to Blaise Pascal. What we have is an Italian dubbed, English subtitled version of a soft core French movie, credited to Hedi Naka. Eddy or Hedi, there seems to be little information on the guy. What little is listed in IMDb indicates a brief career with barely a handful of credits.

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I'm not even sure what to make of this film. The title refers to two socially prominent women who were photographed in compromising situations, unconscious and naked. The short running time, about sixty-five minutes is padded out with scenes of the two women getting it on with the men in their lives, dancing at the local disco, and general lollygagging. In all, not much really happens. Naka pads things out some more by repeating shots at the end of the film, essentially a recap of everything that happened during the previous hour.

Evidently, no one told Hedi Naka that the Sixties were over, as there a couple of sex scenes using psychedelic colors and other visual effects, none of which aids in making this film more than mildly erotic.
There are also some songs which sound like bad imitations of the stuff that Serge Gainsbourg use to record several years previously. About the only thing that really works is the outdoor photography of the woods and a nearby river - possibly abetted by the slightly washed out quality of the print, giving it the effect of looking at watercolor paintings.

The choice of idiomatic expressions in English is baffling. There is a reference to a BFF and MILFs. Yet one of the men calls a younger woman a bobby-soxer (for the kids reading this, that last reference was what teenager were called once upon a time, check out Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer with Cary Grant and Shirley Temple). I can't imagine what was on Hedi Naka's mind when this film was first conceived. I'm guessing that there was some sort of half-baked social critique only vaguely envisioned, something that someone like Claude Chabrol could have done something with, but with better sex scenes. There is the vaguest sense that Naka wanted to say something about voyeurism, sex and class distinctions. I also have to wonder what is missing as the DVD is ten minutes shorter than the published running time. The actresses are reasonably attractive, especially blonde France Nicolas. Presumably, there is a niche audience for this film, but others with a more casual interest would be better served looking elsewhere.

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Posted by peter at January 23, 2014 08:04 AM