The Embrace (1969) Paul Collet & Pierre Drouot

The Embrace (1969) aka L'étreinte
Genre:  Drama | Erotic
Country: France | Belgium | Director: Paul Collet & Pierre Drouot
Language: French | Subtitles: English & Dutch (idx/sub files)
Aspect ratio: Widescreen 1.85:1 | Length: 104mn
Dvdrip Xvid Avi - 704x400 - 25fps - 1.47gb

Six years before Just Jaeckin hit it big with his soft-focus, epic version of Pauline Reage's novel, The Story of O, this Belgian oddity was made. While it doesn't precisely follow the story put forth in the novel, it is blatantly inspired by the novel, referring to it by name.

The film introduces us to Michel, a young, rich man, who at the beginning of the film is throwing up in his kitchen sink during a wild, decadent, late-'60s party. We also discover that the last maid he had has quit, so a friend recommends he places an add for a live-in aid. Shortly after, shy, young Gisele arrives at the lavish apartment building while Michel is at work, finding a note on the door telling the new help to come in. Michel had specifically wanted an older aid, but after meeting Gisele is convinced to let her stay.

Gisele is introduced to Michel's wildly reckless lifestyle, and handles it almost completely apathetically, remaining virtually mute and vacant in response to all that's going on around her. She just keeps up with her duties and keeps to herself.

The film itself is beautiful to look at in the same way the films that Radley Metzger made notorious through his company Audubon films; it's decadent, colorful, and an utter time capsule of how the rich and "liberated" lived at the time (at least according to the movies). And for a majority of the film one wonders if it's another simple cash in on the "rich people sex drama" that ends up terribly misrepresenting it's source material, but some of the turns it takes reveals it to be something more.

The Story of O was initially published in 1954, and, in the same way it became chic in the US to be seen catching a screening of Gerard Damiano's Deep Throat with your girlfriend/lover/wife, it slowly rose to a popular acclaim and it became very chic to have read the book, a topic of discussion often brought up at bourgeois dinner parties.
The Embrace (1969)

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