Written by: Cliff Wood on February 3rd, 2017
Theatrical Release Dates: France / USA , 1984 (Lady Libertine), France, 1985 (Love Circles)
Director: Gérard Kikoïne (Both Films)
Writers: Harry Alan Towers, Gérard Kikoïne (Lady Libertine), Arthur Schuitzer (Love Circles)
Cast: Sophie Favier, Jennifer Inch, Christopher Pearson (Lady Libertine), Josephine Jacqueline Jones, Sophie Berger (Love Circles)
BluRay released: January 31st, 2017
Approximate running times: 85 Minutes (Lady Libertine), 97 minutes (Love Circles)
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English (Lady Libertine), Dolby Digital Stereo English, Dolby Digital Stereo French (Love Circles)
BluRay Release: Intervision Picture Corp.
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $24.95
Lady Libertine: An aristocrat named Charles Beaumont while riding his horse in the country meets a young boy named Frank (Jennifer Inch) who has run away from home. Charles invites the boy to stay with him. One day the servants inform Charles that Frank has become a handful and won’t behalf. So he gets out his cane to teach the boy a lesson. Charles discovered at that moment that Frank was not a boy but actually a girl and he resolved not to tell anyone else about his findings until Frank was ready to tell him. After leaving on extended vacation Charles returns home to find Frank who is now ready to tell him the who truth including her real name is François. The two have strong attraction for each other and shortly there after they become secret lovers. As time goes by there love is tested when another man shows his affection for François. Will Charles be able to control his jealously or are there deeper issues that are waiting to break them apart around the corner?
Lady Libertine is based on the Victorian era novel Frank and I, which is credit to an anonymous author. The story about girl disguising herself as a boy to get away from her current guardians a madman who runs a brothel in which she takes in homeless young women and forces them into prostitution is interesting tell the very end. There is rarely a dull moment as the film covers so much ground in its brief eight three minute duration.
The acting ranges form average to really good with the bets performance being that of Christopher Pearson Charles Beaumont. His performance is subtle yet convincing as it makes up for Jennifer Inch’s blank performance. It was also painfully obvious Frank was a girl immediately since Jennifer Inch’s facial features are boldly feminine. This film also has gained some controversy since one of the actress’s French T.V. game show host Sophie Favier unsuccessfully tried to have this film removed from circulation by suing the producers of the production. The erotica in this film is well done and if anything it lacks enough S&M moments. Ultimately Lady Libertine is a quality soft-core that perfectly balances story and erotica.
Love Circles: The premise of this erotic feature is simple the story follows a pack of cigarettes that somehow gets passed from one lover to another in a chain letter like exchange until it comes full circle and ends up in the hands of the person who the cigarettes originated with.
Love Circles was directed by Gérard Kikoïne who also directed the erotic classic Lady Libertine. His sense of style is evident immediately and his direction is voyeuristic and never intrusive. The speed up sex scene looks silly while the sex scene in steam room is one of the most erotic moments that I have ever seen in any soft core feature ever. There is little if any time devoted to getting to known the various characters. The film focuses mostly on the erotic moments which string together the loose narrative.
Sophie Berger who portrays a character named Dagmar in the film gets the two best sex scenes. The first occurs in a women’s bathroom and the other is of course the infamous steam room romp. It is shame that she would only make a few films since she is a natural beauty that is near impossible to take your eyes off of. Miss Bahamas Josephine Jacqueline Jones makes an appearance in the film and most might recognize her from Black Venus and Christina. Both scenes she is in are memorable.
The film soundtrack has 1980’s written all over it. This film had plenty of nudity. All the scene scenes are very erotic and well done. This film has it all jewel thieves, blackmail, adultery, mile high sex and so much more. This film also appears to have been dubbed and many times the voices don’t look like they match. The acting in this one leaves a lot to be desired and in the end this is easy to overlook since there are plenty of pretty women to look at while they fulfill their carnal desires. Overall Love Circles perfectly balances its story with the erotic elements of the film.
Lady Libertine and Love Circles are presented on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. Both are film’s have been flagged for progressive playback and both film’s are presented in its intended 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The sources used for these HD transfers are in great shape and the end result are transfers that improve upon both of these film’s previous home video releases.
Lady Libertine comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. Love Circles comes with two audio options, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English and a Dolby Digital stereo mix in French (no English subtitles). All audio mixes sound clear and balanced throughout.
Extras for this release include, deleted scenes from Love Circles (1 minute 17 seconds, in French no English subtitles), an appearance at Fantasia Film Festival with Gérard Kikoïne who introduces Lady Libertine (18 minutes 53 seconds, in French with English subtitles) and an interview with Gérard Kikoïne (26 minutes 7 seconds, in French with English subtitles).
Topics discussed by Gérard Kikoïne at Fantasia Film Festival include, the first time he read the screenplay and how it was an adaption of the novel Frank and I, why he renamed the film Lady Libertine, how his XXX films were very successful despite their releases being limited due to their X ratings, how his work as an editor helped him be more prepared as a director, Lady Libertine, shooting soft-core sex scenes verses hardcore sex scenes, Jennifer Inch and other production related topics.
Topics discussed in the interview with Gérard Kikoïne include, how a law in France forced him to leave X-Rated films and make the transition into soft-core erotica, producer Harry Alan Towers, Lady Libertine, preproduction topics, Sophie Favier and how after the film was completed she sued to keep it from getting released, Anthony Perkins and Edge of Sanity and other film’s he worked on.
Overall Lady Libertine and Love Circles make their way to HD via a solid release from Intervision Picture Corp.
Note: Screenshots 1,2,3,6 are taken from Lady Libertine. Screenshots 4,5,7 are taken from Love Circles.