The 1968 French sexual revolution comedy Erotissimo is one of those ultra stylish Sixties films that art director types go totally nuts over. With good reason.
Starring Annie Giradot as a married woman confused by the rapid change in sexual mores around her. Erotissimo takes place precisely at the point in the 1960s where SEX became an inescapably “in your face” component of modern life, advertising and urban dwelling. As such, it is a perfect time capsule of the end of one era and the beginning of another. Giradot’s heroine struggles to understand the matters I presume would have been vexing a fair amount of the film’s audience during that time period as well.
But plot aside, the film’s reputation these days is due to its unique—and very Sixties—art direction: Gerard Pires’ Erotissimo looks like almost no other film I can think of. Nearly every frame is a masterpiece of visual composition, in the vein of William Klein’s Who Are You, Polly Magoo? The groovedelic soundtrack is the aural equivalent of a white molded plastic chair…
Mod Cinema sells a DVD of Erotissimo with English subtitles, making it possible for those of us who paid no attention in French class to enjoy this treat.
A married woman in her 30’s (Annie Girardot) tries to spice up her sex life with her distracted husband Philippe (Jean Yanne) under the deluge of sexy Swedish movies, sexy advertising on the streets, sexy intimate clothing in ladies’ shops, and even talks about sex and marital infidelity with her mother and female friends. Philippe, a general manager of a dynamic company specializing in baby products becomes preoccupied with an upcoming tax audit. Even the presence of a beautiful fashion model who lives with Annie’s brother fails to divert his attention. This amazing and colorful work of 60’s pop art features an original psychedelic soundtrack by French composer William Sheller & singer-songwriter Michel Polnareff, and don’t miss the cameo by monsieur Serge Gainsbourg!
Gainsbourg’s cameo is appropriately sleazy: He plays a guy who hits on Annie as she is leaving a Swedish “art film.”
Below, the NSFW Erotissimo trailer: