Felicity

May 28th, 2009 DVD Reviews, Film, Xpress

From the Ozploitation era so well referenced and cataloguing in Not Quite Hollywood, this sex romp is an unintended camp classic. Unintended because it looks like it was a quite serious dissertation on the coming of age of a young woman’s sexuality, albeit with a few comic flourishes. But so many hallmarks of Australian cinema from the period make it an unwittingly guilty pleasure.

Just one that isn’t discussed as much as the copious nudity is the cultural cringe. If you watch enough movies from Australia in the 70s and 80s, the men are all beer swilling ockers and the woman speak with British accents in an attempt that was popular at the time to distance them from real Australians, considered (even by the directors making movies about them) to be an international embarrassment.

Felicity is growing up in a convent where she’s having strange dreams she can’t ignore any more, her body craving things she can’t explain, curiosity about sex bursting forth (along with her clothes most of the time). She goes on a Sabbatical to Hong Kong to stay with a liberated aunt where she embarks on a sexual education that includes a soulless coupling with a porn tache-sporting sleazebag, an overnight visit to a seedy boathouse brothel and an affair with another Aussie expat.

At the time it made a minor star out of softcore starlet Glory Annen but surprisingly it’s not quite grindhouse fodder, less explotative and more natural than you’ll expect. Just be careful about the marketing, which leads one to believe you’ll be watching Caged Heat; Australia. Even the Internet Movie Database recomendations include 1975’s Anita; Swedish Nymphet, but don’t make any prejudgements. At times slow, at times honest and beautiful, but part of your Aussie film history education.


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