Death of Just Jaeckin, Emmanuelle’s director, at the age of 82

Death of Just Jaeckin, Emmanuelle’s director, at the age of 82

Death of Just Jaeckin, Emmanuelle’s director, at the age of 82

This artist, who loved women so much, to whom we owe the invention of pleasure in French cinema, specializes in this register and has produced the greatest hits of erotic cinema.

Wicker armchairs owe him a lot. On the poster, Sylvia Kristel sat shirtless on this exotic seat. Upon release, viewers flocked to Pier Import stores, asking vendors if the actress was included in the purchase.

Emanuele, in 1974, was a success as remarkable as it was unexpected. On the Champs-Élysées, the Triomphe has been programming the film for more than ten years. To see this curiosity, the Spaniards crossed the border by bus to elbow in the rooms of Perpignan which also screened The Last Tango in Paris, the two features were banned in their country. It must be said that the work was instructive. We discovered a rather new way of tapping into the cigarette: the rather sporty method was ideal for reducing tobacco consumption. In the process, we learned how to usefully occupy the restrooms of Paris-Bangkok flights. A nice gourdiflot immersed in the delights of Sapphic and in the many loves, in the midst of pagodas and expatriates. For the context, Marika Green was called Bee. Christine Boisson, almost a child, was fearless (what became of her?). Nudity was fine. Alain Cuny, in his white linen suit, dispensed august advice to furnish the nights of insomnia. The monotonous comedian initially refused to have his name appear in the credits. The data on admissions (9 million in France in 1974) quickly changed his mind.

Emmanuelle, played by Sylvia Kristel, in the film Emanuele, directed by Just Jaeckin in 1973. DPA / ABACA

“Erotic”, we used to say it. Above all, it should not be confused with the X-rated products, distributed in the streets near the Saint-Lazare station. Inadvertently, Just Jaeckin had hit the jackpot. This boy born in Vichy in 1940 had to wait impatiently for Évian’s agreements: he did his military service in Algeria, where he was a war photographer. Later, his target was framing mannequins, an activity that carried other dangers. When producer Yves Rousset-Rouard asked him to adapt Emanuele, Emmanuelle Arsan’s sulphurous novel that was said to have been actually written by her diplomatic husband, Jaeckin accepted with a smile. Jean-Louis Richard, an old accomplice of Truffaut, is in charge of the script. The team takes off for distant and welcoming lands. The heroine, a languid seaweed from Holland, does not know that her role will push her to the rank of international star.

The man from a movie

A whole era. The Concorde, Giscard d’Estaing, bans children under 16, the DS 21 Pallas: Just Jaeckin made it right on time. He will remain the man of a single film. In 1975 he adapted the scandalous story of O, taken from the book by Pauline Réage, the pseudonym behind which the deceptively wise Dominique Aury of the NRF was hiding. The film is entitled to the cover of L’Espresso, which caused a stir in the editorial office. Corinne Cléry appeared in the simplest device and chained on the cover of the weekly that had coined the expression “new wave”. We were far from Godard. Jaeckin was going his merry way without worrying about the (bad) reviews. His friends have emphasized his kindness, his eternal Saint-Tropez side, with his tan and blue eyes. The seventh art was a hobby, a fun. It wasn’t surprising to see him face it Madame Claudio (1977), with Françoise Fabian, imperial lady of standing. Call girls, another 70s thing. The director tried to push brunette Dayle Haddon into the firmament. She threw herself on him with joyful unconsciousness Lady Chatterley’s lover where he found Sylvia Christel. This crime of lese majesty – no contact with DH Lawrence – earned him a solid barrage of green wood, which surely made him snap a shrug.

It is not forbidden to bring one’s career closer to that of a Vadim. These two hedonists started off with a bang, then rode the wave with varying degrees of success. Jaeckin himself had opened a gallery with his wife in rue Guénégaud, behind the Institute. Obviously, the Academy of Fine Arts was not for him. He preferred to cultivate the sweetness of life and had the intelligence to say no to all the consequences of Emmanuelle. Jaeckin was a sage who never caught the big head. We will remember it for a long time, on a melody by Pierre Bachelet. Goodbye, right.

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