• Laure




    Released by: Severin Films
    Released on: 6/12/2007
    Director: Louis Jacques
    Cast: Anne Belle, Al Cliver, Orso Maria Guerrini
    Year: 1976
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    The Movie:

    One of about a zillion European cash-in’s on Just Jaeckin’s infamous Emannuelle, Laure, a 1976 from the author of the novel on which Jaeckin’s film was originally based is a better than average seventies softcore film with an interesting cast and a memorable score.

    Our titular lead (played by the stunning Anne Belle) is the saucy young daughter of a man who runs the anthropology department at a Filipino University. When she attends a lecture given by Gualtier Morgan (Orso Maria Guerrini) alongside her hunky photographer friend, Nicholas (Al Cliver) she learns of a tribe of natives who live on an island off the coast named the Mara. Apparently every summer this tribe more or less suffers from massive memory failure and they completely forget who they are – the just start over: new jobs, new mates, new kids, everything just starts over for them.

    Gaultier and his wife head up an expedition made up of a randy chick named Myrte (Emmanuelle Arsan), Nicholas and Laure and before you know it, the gang has made their way to the island to study the tribe before they more or less become extinct. Along the way, the members of the group get involved with one another and every one gets it on.

    Despite some pretentious moments that indicate that the original script may have had loftier aspirations than the end result indicates, Laure doesn’t deviate too far from the standard softcore formula. Plenty of soft-lit scenes of lesbian and heterosexual high jinks make up the bulk of the picture, soap opera style pondering and contemplative characters comprise the remainder. That said, when the focus is primarily on titillation for the sake of titillation it can be difficult to keep the focus on the more cerebral aspects of a story, which is the very problem that this film is afflicted with. There are interesting moments that look like they are going to examine the inner workings of human relations both sexual and non-sexual but before these can be properly fleshed out, everyone is naked and groping one another. This isn’t a bad thing per se, in fact it is quite frankly what most of us watch these films for in the first place, but it is obvious that more was intended for this picture.

    Also known under the alternate title of Emmanuelle Forever, the film was written by Louis Jacques, the author of the book that started it all. Though originally credited to his wife, Emmanuelle Arsan, Jacques is revealed to be the real author and interestingly enough, he directed this picture as well. Tampering with the finished product would result in Jacques asking for his name to be removed from the film.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Laure looks excellent in this 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that presents the film in its original aspect ratio. There’s a bit of grain here and there but aside from that this is a very clean and colorful presentation that shows plenty of detail in the foreground and the background of the image. No problems with mpeg compression artifacts and color reproduction and skin tones look dead on.

    The English language Dolby Digital Mono sound mix is fine, if unremarkable. The dubbing sounds just a little bit flat in a couple of spots but aside from that things are decent enough. Dialogue is clean and clear and there are no problems with hiss or distortion. The levels fluctuate just a little bit in a couple of scenes but otherwise the audio is free of problems.


    Severin has included a few decent extra features on this release, starting things off with an interview with Ovidio Assonities, the producer of the film, entitled Emmanuelle Revealed. Over roughly fifteen minutes Assonities discusses the ‘almost’ casting of the one and only Linda Lovelace, the origins of the project, who the real voice behind the notorious Emmanuelle really was (interesting stuff!) and other, more general trivia related to the picture. A second interview entitled Laure: A Love Story features the one and only Al Cliver alongside Anne Belle (who we never actually see – it’s her voice only!). Over fourteen minutes the pair discusses their real life love affair and their experiences working on this picture together

    The Final Word:

    Stylish and steamy, Laure will certainly appeal to fans of seventies Eurotica. Severin’s presentation looks and sounds quite good and the extras, while not as plentiful as they could have been, definitely put the film in context and explain its unusual history which in many ways is actually more interesting than the film itself.