An Intimate Life: Undressing Emmanuelle by Sylvia Kristel


kristel2             Undressing Emmanuelle 
by Sylvia Kristel

    The memoirs of a Euro starlet whose greatest claim to fame was in embodying the cinematic incarnation of the eponymous character in the provocative roman a clef by Emmanuelle Arsan, Undressing Emmanuelle (originally and tellingly published in    as Nue) is a fairly unflinching portrait of fame sought, achieved and pilfered, told with surprising, unapologetic, self-critical candor that is rare in film autobiographies. It is also a bookundressing1 that is equally notable for its intimacy of human insight as well as its refusal to cater to more lurid appetites seeking an accounting of sexual sensationalism.

    Despite the public  prominence of Ms. Kristel’s screen image as a self-professed “goddess of Love” (or, perhaps more accurately, a fresh faced representation of repressed middlebrow wish fulfillment), the sparscity of graphically prurient anecdotes is both surprising and refreshing. Seekers of lurid gossip had best look elsewhere. If one is seeking an abundance of name-dropping celebrity disclosures, the book aims more directly at a subject of interest which the author clearly deems as having greater relevance in terms of having more formative and lasting influence on the Self, through which all subsequent intimacies in life are inextricably intertwined, and thus given narrative rebirth through an unforgiving filter of candid remembrance and often painful experience: family.

    The book is written in relatively short bursts of anecdotal recollections. Events are often quickly recounted with a brevity of a memory flash, forming a somewhat sporadic yet cohesive narrative which unfolds as if the reader were attendant at a most intimate therapy session. Brimming with observational insights, virtually every entry, no matter how brief, contributes an insightful rumination which builds upon the next into a patchwork quilt of unexpected emotional depth. Memoirs are the act of recollection in which a selective inclusion of events mark significant reflections of resultant character shaping knowledge and wisdom obtained; the relaying of the metamorphic effect of the cumulative imprint of personal history.

    The indelible effect which Ms. Kristel’s nakedly painful confessions cannot help but emphasize is an inescapable psychic imprint resulting from the helpless nature of childhood. Mercilessly deep insecurities born from parental discord, real or amplified by highly susceptible imagination, have a scarring effect upon her adult personality-  and subsequently, her self-destructive behavioral patterns  -which are evident in a person who has clearly surrendered her formative emotional priorities to those same parentally based anxieties. For all of her bravura, this was an individual desperate for approval and affection, who found herself at a very early age as a global cultural symbol of modern female libertinism.

To read the complete review, click the following link to: https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/the-hollywood-bookshelf/

 

 

 

 

About chandlerswainreviews

I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pauper, a poet, a pawn and a king, not necessarily in that order. My first major movie memory was being at the drive-in at about 1 1/2 yrs. old seeing "Sayonara" so I suppose an interest in film was inevitable. (For those scoring at home- good for you- I wasn't driving that evening, so no need to alert authorities.)Writer, critic and confessed spoiler of women, as I have a tendency to forget to put them back in the refrigerator. My apologies.
This entry was posted in biography, book reviews, books, erotica, French cinema, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, women, writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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