The sleaze and erotica arm of Severin, InterVision, brings us two softcore films directed by Gérard Kikoïne, “Lady Libertine” and “Love Circles”. This is the first time these two films have been preserved on Blu-Ray. Both are filled with sex and poor dubbing but the contrasts are more abundant. “Lady Libertine” is a polished and artful affair while “Love Circles” is a somewhat sloppy and cheesy sex comedy. It’s interesting to see two softcore films from the same director with such different approaches and outcomes.
“Lady Libertine” follows the story of a teenage orphan who runs away from a life of forced prostitution disguised as a boy. Our runaway is found by an English gentleman who decides to take him in. The gentleman soon becomes sexually fascinated when he finds out the true gender of his charity case. “Lady Libertine” has an eloquent touch to it, its eloquent nature is accelerated by the Victorian time setting. The costumes and set design is top notch and are made even more interesting by the framing and camera work. Add this in with the previously mentioned setting and you have a visually appetizing film. The film could be considered edgy for the time and in today’s market would probably be shunned; it is far too artful and well made to introduce such sleazy ideas without a complete and utter abhorrence feeling toward them. Our gentleman seems to have a fetish for punishment, disciplining this teen is what he seems to desire most. The plot sounds a little more gratuitous than the film actually is and plays out as a melodramatic love affair more than a sleazy smut film. The film’s only real problems are the poor dubbing and slight pacing issues. Even with these faults, “Lady Libertine” is an interesting and semi tantalizing film; a tad bit more serious than its successor.
` “Love Circles” is about a series of random love affairs that are all connected by a pack of cigarettes. These cigarettes travel from lover to lover and by coincidence around the world. “Love Circles” can be a tad confusing for the first act. The film opens with narration but ditches it along with the character who it belonged to. The film switches protagonists fairly often and we catch on to the title’s meaning. “Love Circles” is clearly having fun with itself; the sex is playful and comedic and plentiful which will bring some chuckles. Unfortunately, most of the laughter will come at the expense of the atrocious dubbing, and with the abundance of different characters being introduced the whole ordeal comes across pretty silly. Another knock on the film is a visible boom mic during an entire conversation, and in two different angles…one with a hand holding it!! On a positive note these mistakes and annoyances shouldn’t stop one from enjoying the film. We are given a fair share of nudity, locations, and spontaneous sexual encounters. One of these sexual encounters takes place in a cockpit, while the passengers are occasionally “treated” to the sounds of pleasure and the dangers of nose diving. This scene feels like it was ripped from a frat house sex comedy. “Love Circles” is outrageous and interesting in that it has international flair and a whimsical nature but can’t seem to hide the fact it was produced by Cannon films and its cheesiness is shown on its sleeve.
Both films look top notch and are presented in full screen. “Lady Libertine” benefits from the Blu-ray treatment much more. The features are not abundant but interesting. We have an introduction from the director, both at a film festival and an interview, in French with English subtitles. Strangely the feature is lacking subtitles although it has the option to watch the films in French. During the interview the director opens up about his prolific career in porn, films, and commercials and we are treated to wonderful stories about Oliver Reed and Anthony Perkins. The disc’s final feature is that of a couple deleted scenes. All in all, a satisfying release of two fairly enjoyable semi softcore art style flicks.
Two feature films from France's master of erotica, Gerard Kikoine
LADY LIBERTINE - THE INFAMOUS EROTIC SAGA AN ASHAMED STAR TRIED TO STOP!
Famed French TV game show hostess Sophie Favier stars in this boldly sexy epic about a cross-dressing teenage orphan named 'Frank' who is adopted by a handsome nobleman with his own strange urges. But when the sultry virgin's gender-bend is revealed, her deflowering unleashes a shocking torrent of voyeurism, violation, sadism and submission that will blur the line between pleasure and pain forever!
This 1984 Playboy production ignited an international controversy when Sophie Favier unsuccessfully sued to stop its long awaited re-release. Her court loss is a victory for Skinemax fans everywhere!
LOVE CIRCLES - AN INTERNATIONAL ODYSSEY OF SEXUAL IMMORALITY!
From Paris to Rome, Cannes to Hong Kong, and Los Angeles to New York City, the true universal language is lust! In this decadent update of the scandalous classic LA RONDE, a bevy of international beauties complete a chain of liaisons where every urge is fulfilled and no taboo is left unbroken. Will it take more than one man to satisfy a nymphomaniac's voracious needs? How does a single oiled body trigger an unstoppable steam room orgy? What is the ultimate act of love between sisters?
Interview with director Gerard Kikoine (French with English subs)
Gerard Kikoine introducing Lady Libertine at the Fantasia Film Festival
Director: Gerard Kikoine
Cast: Christopher Pearson, Jennifer Inch, Sophie Favier and John Sibbit, Marie-France, Josephine Jacqueline Jones