Erotic Journeys: The Many Faces of Em(m)anuelle

As a portal opened for crossover between mainstream cinema and adult entertainment in the 1970s, French director Just Jaeckin was, with one movie, able to restore a Continental influence on the cinematic depiction of female sexuality; his debut feature, Emmanuelle, established a one-word universal language for adventuresome erotica. Jaeckin had trained as a photographer and was also an artist, architect, and sculptor. The success of Emmanuelle—released in the U.S. by no less than major studio Columbia Pictures—pivoted Jaeckin into a decade-long run as a softcore auteur, after which he strolled away from the industry to pursue art and life. Meanwhile, the floodgates opened for various Emmanuelle sequels and extemporizations — some legitimate and some not, with a deliberately dropped consonant creating a copyright loophole for the rival Emanuelle series to trade on the name and reputation. Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the novel that gave the world Emmanuelle, the Quad brings together movies weaving in and out of the series canon(s) as well as films made by Jaeckin that showcase his own post-Emmanuelle aesthetic evolution. While Emmanuelle and Jaeckin’s paths didn’t cross again, they are forever coupled in movie history.

This series runs alongside our Just Jaeckin retrospective, Beyond Emmanuelle, also running February 1 – 6.

Past Screenings