With reference to the myth of Orpheus a man goes back in time underneath and through the city for a brief reunion with his lover.
Welsh writer Tyvian Jones (Stanley Baker) seems to have it all, Sixties-style -- an international best-seller, an apartment in Rome, a gorgeous fiancée in Virna Lisi -- but he's bitter anyway. He meets his existential match in ennui in the mod seductress Eve, played by Jeanne Moreau, who was never more cynical or iconic. Decked out in pointy pumps and heavy eyeliner, listening to Billie Holliday on scratchy LPs as she counts lire and smokes endless packs of cigarettes in strangers' bedrooms, she is the epitome of frayed glamour. An emotional tyrant, Eve's cruelly casual manoeuvring forces Baker to confront his past -- and his weaknesses -- as a man and an artist.
Elegant and lush, and filmed in Venice, Rome, and rural Italy, Joseph Losey's Eva (released in the U.S. and Britain as Eve) is a cold, cruel film about crippling insecurity and sexual manipulation. Burly Stanley Baker simmers as a swaggering but self-loathing Welsh author happily indulging in the continental high life, covering up a devastating secret with braggadocio and sneering machismo; Jeanne Moreau has never been icier as the cruel, manipulative, high-rent prostitute Eve who becomes his obsession. They never become more than fascinating enigmas, but they send off sparks in an indulgently fatalistic film that wallows in human weakness and emotional self-destruction. Beautifully filmed and elegantly scored, with Billie Holiday tunes weaving a sad sense of loss through the picture, Eva became a showcase for Losey's arresting visual style and electrifying direction, and the springboard for such later, more restrained masterpieces as The Servant, Accident, and The Go-Between.
Film by Joseph Losey 1962
Showing at Studio 29 SPACE STUDIO 10 Martello Street E8 020 7249 6021
(Go the double door where my bell is situated). www.herveconstant.co.uk