Volume 3 in Cult Epic's French erotica series showcases the post-War era, including some of its technological wonders, and affordable equipment for the fidgety Phyllises. As “Anno 1950” reveals, Sneaky Pete's grasp of technology didn't just embrace the moving film camera, but all forms of mechanical devices that could be adopted into smaller, more personalized gizmos for the lonely ladies looking for good vibrations.
A case in point is “Women On Their Own,” the first erotic film that kick starts the collection with an adventurous lady and a pneumatic aid (with an unfaltering rhythm). The high-powered close-up lens also gets a test run by a retentive manicurist, and a proboscis aid makes an early film appearance during an era when British and North American couples were still seen sleeping in separate beds (according to mainstream flickers).
It's an amusing, sometimes shocking collection that alternates between graphic sexual episodes, more traditional vignettes (naked girl bathing by a windy brook), and classic burlesque stripteases (low on nudity, high on leopard patterns, Ali Baba costumes, whirring tassles, swinging hips, jiggling chests, and all-around zip-boom-bah.)
The familiarity of the collection's images is what's most surprising; it's akin to reading ancient Roman graffiti that reveals the naughty, wayward thoughts of another generation, barely differing from those of the present. Besides being in black & white, the execution, montage construction, and payoff of these films are identical to contemporary erotica. (Cheesy music is what's lacking, but original underscoring didn't really come into fashion until the next decade.)
With the exception of three burlesque shorts, all of the films are silent, and can be viewed with optional projection noise. It sounds like an odd choice, but the sound effects actually transforms the big screen TV into a humble 16mm film screen; all that's lacking are wayward guests, smoke, and vino.
Included in this collection are 15 shorts: “Women On Their Own” (16:07), “Smooth Shaving” (14:01), “Attachment” (11:03), “Woman in the Portrait” (13:33), “The Topless Dancer” (2:15), “Pastoral Pleasures” (6:20), “Untitled” (1:01), “After-Sales Service” (8:24), “Untitled” (1:01), “Peeping Tom” (9:05), “Untitled” (1:23), “Rendez-Vous” (8:34), “The Thief in Jail” (7:23), “Untitled” (2:13), and “Unfaithful Women” (6:43).
This title is available separately or as part of The Vintage Erotica Collection boxed set, which houses volumes Anno 1920, Anno 1930, Anno 1940, and Anno 1950, and Anno 1960 in slim cases.
© 2004 Mark R. Hasan