Talent Talk11 Jan, 2003 By: Dan Bennett
Just Jaeckin, the director of Emmanuelle and The Story of O, has long been considered an interesting man, so it's not surprising he makes an interesting analogy when discussing his once-controversial film The Story of O.
“For me, it's so far away,” Jaeckin said of the film during a telephone interview from his home in France. “It's like my grandmother.”
Some grandmother. The Story of O was released to plenty of controversy in 1975, but earned considerable critical acclaim and is making its DVD debut from Ventura Distribution. The title also is available on VHS.
The Story of O stars Corrine Clery as a young woman who willfully submits herself to sexual slavery at the request of her beau.
“It was advanced for its time,” Jaeckin said. “It was based on such a beautiful, beloved book, a story of letters. It is not meant to be taken literally. Her slavery and submission are symbolic. It's not about prostitution or pornography, but the compelling power of love.”
The Story of O was actually a stylized, well-lit erotic film.
“We worked very hard to give it a classic look and feel,” Jaeckin said. “It's almost an Alice in Wonderland approach to story and filmmaking. The character jumps into this giant hole and makes fascinating new discoveries. You project your own fantasies through that portal.”
Through the period, Jaeckin said, he sought to merge artistic vision with more primal concerns.
“With titles like this and Emmanuelle [available from Wellspring Media], we were attempting quality, even if our intentions weren't always recognized,” Jaeckin said. “We wanted something as close to opera as film.”