FELICITY (1980) DVD
from the OZPLOITATION VOLUME 3 (6-Disc Set)
Label: Umbrella Entertainment
Region Code: Region All
Duration: 90 mins
Director: John D. Lamond
Cast: Glory Annen, Chris Milne, Joni Flynn, Jody Hansen
Tagline: She ain't Mama's little girl no more!
Film: My own experiences with the wonders of softcore erotica began and ended with late-night viewings of the Emmanuel films on Cinemax at far too young of an age. When my folks would retire to their room for the evening I would stealthily make my way to the family room where I would stand directly in front of the TV with the volume turned WAY down, obscuring it from view so as if my parents caught me by surprise I could snap the TV off (with my free hand) without them glimpsing what naughty nocturnal activities might have been transpiring. Our home didn't have the premium cable channels but I was somehow able to hear (not clearly see) the adult programming by holding down several buttons on the cable box in tandem. The image would appear a scrambled blur but occasionally would reveal a nipple or some other delicate part of a woman's anatomy. Pathetic, I know, but that's the unstoppable drive of adolescent sexual curiosity for you. Not coincidentally it was around this time that I discovered the answer to Rusty Griswold's question to his cousin Dale in National Lampoon's Vacation (1983), "How do you use a magazine?"....
The softcore-cinema of late-night skinemax came and went during but a brief period of my adolescence. Shortly after I was more enamored with 80's slashers and the supernatural terrors of horror cinema which offered both blood, guts and boobs, the best of both worlds. Sex cinema fell to the wayside for many years until just this past year a blu-ray screener of Radley Metzger's Score (1972) unexpectedly came by the office and what a treat that was. I'd nearly forgotten how fun and sexy these late-70's films were. Erotic cinema like Score offered stylish adult fare that wasn't out and out sleazy like cheaply made pornography. Likewise there's Felicity (1979) directed by Aussie sexploitation pioneer John D. Lamond whom began his film career with a pair of fun shokcumentaries The ABC of Sex and Love: Australia Style (1977) and Australia After Dark (1975). His approach to erotica comes from a place of humor, sensuality and sexiness - not just hardcore fucking for the sake of gratification, which has it's place but this is something more all together.
The film tells the tale of the gorgeous young woman named Felicity (Glory Annen) who's coming of age in a private Catholic school where she's been quietly developing a strong sexual curiosity and has on occasion acted on these curiosities with her equally libidinous roommate. When school let's out for Summer break Felicity heads to Hong Kong where she stays with family friends. It's here that she meets a beautiful local girl named Me Ling (Joni Flynn, Octopussy) and begins to explore her overflowing sexual curiosity with numerous partners until she meets a fun photographer named Miles (Christopher Milne, Thirst). The film is equal parts erotic fairytale, Orient travelogue and a sensual coming of age story and while there's no shortage of pants-tightening titillation it is a surprisingly tender film in it's handling of sexuality and the act of sex. Lamond is a stylish director and the film is beautifully composed, particularly the shots of Hong Kong, good stuff indeed. I enjoyed the fairytale nature of the film which is enhanced not only Annen's classic beauty but by the the accompanying running narration and the loads of sex didn't hurt either. That said, this is not merely a male sex fantasy and is very much geared towards portraying Felicity as a sexually empowered young woman.
DVD: Felicity is featured on the 6-disc Ozploitation Vol. 3 set from Aussie DVD label Umbrella Entertainment. The film is presented in a 16:9 enhanced widescreen transfer with 2.0 English language audio. It's a remarkably good looking print with few blemishes to be seen. The audio while not overly impressive is adequate enough to firmly implant the film's saccharine easy listening theme song "Mama's Little Girl No More" into your skull for weeks. From what I can tell the bonus features replicate Umbrella stand-alone disc minus the original theatrical trailer. It should be noted that this DVD can only be operated on machines capable of playing Region 0 PAL format software.
- Audio commentary with Director John D. Lamond and star Glory Annen. A nice commentary as the two reminisce about their experiences on the set of the film, plenty of interesting factoids. It's a lighthearted commentary and both are in good spirits and fondly recall the film.