Whether he disliked the idea of a sequel or found the screenplay to be a softcore upgrade of the first film, director Just Jaekin stepped away from “Emmanuelle 2” (released as “The Joys of Emmanuelle” in America) and recommended Francis Giacobetti – the popular commercial photographer responsible for the famous still that graced the first film's poster art.
With a larger budget, the production went to Hong Kong, and like the first film, the location work really paid off. A handsome film shot in a wider scope ratio, it also contained more male-oriented shots that dwell on privates and sweaty rumps in a manner sometimes evocative of Italian director Tinto Brass. Ergo, this one was heavily slanted towards female cinemagoers.
“The Joys of Emmanuelle Part 2” assembles the same interview subjects, and largely chronicles the problems producer Yves Rousset-Rouard faced when dealing with the French censor office. Giacobetti's camera really reflects a fashion sensibility, and the movie's sexual montages often involve portrait-like framing; bodies lung, hands grope, and backs extend backwards (but making really good use of Panavision).
The infamous bathhouse scene – with future “Black Emanuelle” star Laura Gemser – is unreal, absurd, and still pretty outrageous, with Oscar-winning composer Francis Lai (“Love Story”) milking every rub and scrub with his maniacally repetitive theme. Another crazy sequence has Emmanuelle visiting an acupuncturist, and the pain/pleasure montage – while original for a Western film – may seem kind of creepy if you've seen Takashi Miike's twisted gem “Audition.” (Needles Bad. Very, very Bad.) Nevertheless, Anchor Bay's transfer is really nice, and the sharp cinematography makes excellent use of the diverse locations.
Ironically, Giacobetti never made another film, finding the lack of control too chaotic, and returned to his commercial photographic career. “Emmanuelle 2” did well internationally, but Kristel had a rougher time during filming; finding the story more misogynistic than the first movie, and suffering a rather serious injury while on location.
This title is available in "The Emmanuelle Collection" boxed set (DV12157), with "Emmanuelle," "Emmanuelle 2," and "Good-bye Emmanuelle," and an 8-page colour booklet, featuring an essay by Gary Hertz.
© 2003 Mark R. Hasan
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