Diabolique: Seeking the Heart but Finding the Tears
On Diabolique, I’m continuing A World of Wicker, my meandering journey through the erotic universe of Emmanuelle. For this round, I’m looking at the path that leads to Io, Emmanuelle, the “first” Emmanuelle film, which isn’t an adaptation Emmanuelle.
Io, Emmanuelle is often listed as the first adaptation of Arsan/Rollet-Andriane’s Emmanuelle, though it’s incorrect to do so. If it has any connection to the novel, it’s as a reaction to or deconstruction of, rather than adaptation. There is no mention of Emmanuelle Arsan or the book in the film’s credits. The screenplay is credited to Canevari and musician Graziella Di Prospero, based on a story by Di Prospero called Disintegrazione 68. It has none of the book’s sex-positive joie de vivre. True, both Emmanuelle and Io, Emmanuelle involve a woman drifting through a series of sexual encounters, but whereas one is a celebration of free love among the jet set, the other is a grim meditation on emptiness, ennui, and loss.