Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 17th, 2016
Theatrical Release Date: Australia, 1978
Director: John D. Lamond
Writers: Diane Lamond, John D. Lamond
Cast: Glory Annen, Felicity Robinson, Chris Milne, Joni Flynn, Jody Hanson, Marilyn Rodgers, Gordon Charles, John Michael Howson, David Bradshaw, Christine Calcutt
BluRay released: March 29th, 2016
Approximate running times: 94 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
BluRay Release: Severin Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: Felicity Robinson (Glory Annen) like most girls in boarding school’s is board and seeks adventure. Her father sends her to Hong Kong for her time away from the boarding school. While in Hong Kong she awakens her sexual desires and falls in love with Miles. Her happiness is short lived when she finds out her lover is going away for a few weeks. Will her sex drive lead her too other lovers or will she have enough will power to wait for Miles to return?
Sexuality in cinema hit its peak in the 1970’s when you had mainstream films like Last Tango in Paris, hardcore films like Deep Throat and soft core films like Emmanuelle all playing too sold out theaters. Near the end of the decade director John Lamond would throw his hat into the ring with his soft score sex escapade Felicity a tale about young teenage girls sexual awakening. The story and its outcome are themes that have been explored many times over and in many ways better then the Felicity.
The films strongest asset is John Lamond’s direction which borrows some technique in the form of soft focus photography most notably from Just Jacken’s Emmanuelle. Lamond’s sense of composition is also very good as he frames the action to its fullest. The films dialog sounds like something one would except to read if they were reading a romance novel. The acting in this film is about the level one would expect when watching a soap opera. With Glory Annen’s performance in the role of Felicity being the only performance that leaves any lasting impression.
The films funky score perfectly compliments the mass amounts of sex that occurs in the film. The various sex scenes are all well done and very erotic. The most erotic scene in the film is when Felicity and a female friend go to a bath house. What happens next is the four ladies lathering each other up surrounded by steam. Also Asia is full of exotic locations and sexual delights and the film fully exploits both. Overall Felicity is a well-made slice of erotica cinema that ultimately works as well as does due to the strength of its leading ladies’ performance.
Felicity comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The source used for this transfer is in very good shape and print debris is very minimal. Colors and flesh tones look accurate and black levels remain strong throughout. And though there is intended soft focus look to many of scenes, the image generally looks crisp. Also there no issues with DNR or compression and grain looks natural.
This release comes with one audio option, DTS-HD mono mix in English. The audio sounds clean, clear and balanced throughout. Range wise the more ambient sounds are well represented and the film’s score sounds robust.
Extras for this release include, John D. Lamond trailer collection (Nightmares, The ABC’s of Love and Sex, Felicity, Pacific Banana, Breakfast in Paris, Sky Pirates), Not Quite Hollywood Outtakes: interviews with actress Glory Annen, director John D. Lamond, cinematographer Garry Wapshott (59 minutes 3 seconds) and an audio commentary with John D. Lamond and Glory Annen.
Glory Annen: Casting, the first she saw the film with an audience, Hong Kong and her memories of shooting a film there, her thoughts about the film, shooting sex scenes and working with John D. Lamond.
John D. Lamond: How he enjoys making sexy and politically incorrect films, Australia After Dark, The ABC’s of Love and Sex, Felicity and his thoughts about these films.
Garry Wapshott: Working with John D. Lamond and his thoughts about Australia After Dark and Felicity.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, casting, locations featured in the film, shooting nudity and how it was more accepted in cinema when this film was made, critical reaction to the film, filmmaking on a budget, censorship in cinema, softcore verse hardcore cinema, the cast and information about them and other production related topics.
Australia After Dark is uncut version of the film and there is a disclaimer before the film. This transfer has been sourced from the only available source which looks like a taped based mater. Also the image is presented in a letterboxed widescreen.
The ABC’s of Love and Sex is the uncut version of the film and this transfer appears to come from film elements. Quality wise it looks a lot better than the transfer used for Australia after Dark. Also the image is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that retains its intended aspect ratio.
Extras pertaining too, Australia After Dark and The ABC’s of Love and Sex include, audio commentaries for each film with John D. Lamond and filmmaker Mark Hartley (Not Quite Hollywood).
Topics discussed in the audio commentary for Australia After Dark include, Mondo Cane and its influence on Australia After Dark, music that appears in the film and why he chose it, how this film was shot on 16mm and blown up to 35mm for its theatrical run and they discuss how each scene was conceived.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary for The ABC’s of Love and Sex include, the film’s opening credits, how certain elements in the film give it a dated look, censorship, the cast and information about them and other production related topics.
Overall Felicity gets a definitive release from Severin Films, highly recommended.