Disappearance of the director of "Emmanuelle", the most famous erotic film in the world

Disappearance of the director of “Emmanuelle”, the most famous erotic film in the world

The French filmmaker, photographer and sculptor Just Jaeckin, who made, in particular, the erotic film with resounding worldwide success, “Emmanuelle”, died Tuesday following a long illness, at the age of 82.

And to think that he liked to repeat that eroticism was not his “cup of tea”! For eternity, he is and will remain the director ofEmmanuellethe most famous erotic film of all time (of all time, come on, since the invention of the cinematograph), but also ofStory of O, Madame Claude, Lady Chatterley’s Lover or Gwendolineso many sulphurous and naughty films that hit the headlines in the 70s and 80s… and attracted millions of viewers in France, and even more around the world!

Born in Vichy on August 8, 1940, Just Jaeckin first stood out as a photographer during the Algerian war, where he met Philippe Labro, Francis Veber and Jacques Séguela, young conscripts like him. After his demobilization, he turned to fashion photography, for which he became a sought-after name in the 1960s, which saw demand explode. He then shoots many stars, such as Jane Fonda or Barbara, one of which, moreover, will be used for the poster of the Barbara exhibition at the Philharmonie de Paris in 2017.

It is to the producer Yves Rousset-Rouard that Just Jaeckin will owe his passage to the feature film. The businessman who will be a deputy twenty years later, dreams of repeating the monster success of the film-scandal Le Last tango in Paris by Bertolucci, in 1972. He in turn wants to produce an erotic film for the general public, but for “it” to pass, he needs an intellectual alibi, like a literary source. After hesitating with history of Ohe sets his sights on Emmanuelle, a 1959 novel by Emmanuelle Arsan, which recounts the sexual adventures in Asia of a young liberated woman; novel then still prohibited from advertising and sale to those under 18 years of age. He thinks of David Hamilton, at the time quoted for his charming photos of (very) young girls, but this one declines the offer, which he therefore makes to Just Jaeckin, met by chance during a screening.

If the screenwriter Jean-Louis Richard, close to Truffaut like the editor of the film Claudine Bouché, are experienced, as well as the chief operator Richard Suzuki, the rest of the team is novice. Starting with Just Jaeckin and his main actress, the Dutch model Sylvia Kristel. Shooting in Thailand in 1973 will be a long succession of galleys, DIY, improvisations and disasters. But when it was released in 1974, Emmanuelle met with success beyond belief: it was the biggest card of the year with nearly 9 million admissions. We no longer speak of triumph but of a phenomenon of society because if it attracts for what it has of sexuality, it pleases for what it proclaims of freedom, at the exact moment, when thanks to the Veil law, the woman can finally having one’s body and enjoying it without hindrance… The film panics the foreigner. Perpignan saw whole buses of Spaniards come to see the thing, totally forbidden in the country of Franco. in Paris, tour operators include in their offer a ticket for Emmanuelle on the Champs-Elysées, where it will remain on display for thirteen years!

Very quickly engaged, the following Emmanuelle the Antivirgin will not be signed Just Jaeckin who nevertheless will continue in this gold-bearing pink vein with in 1975 history of Oin 1977 Mrs Claudius, in 1978 The Last Romantic Loverin 1979 Private collections, in 1980 Girlsin 1981 Lady Chatterley’s Lover and finally in 1984 Gwendoline. Inspired by a cult bondage comic by John Willie, the latter is a big adventure production starring Bernadette Lafont and Zabou Breitman, and its failure led Just Jaeckin to put an end to his film career.

Since then, he has returned to his first love, photography, painting, sculpture, and has run an art gallery in Paris with his sculptress wife. Tuesday, September 6, he died at the age of 82, surrounded by his family.

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