Joseph Losey (THE SERVANT) directed this forgotten masterpiece about a Welsh writer, Tyvian Jones, living in Venice and reaping the benefits of a successful novel and film career. His glamorous life of Venetian estates, film festivals, and parties is rudely interrupted when a mysterious woman named Eva (Jeanne Moreau) and her escort break into his canal-side villa seeking shelter on a stormy night. Tyvian is immediately infatuated with the shriekingly blasé Eva, who greets his initial advances with a swift hit to the head with an ashtray but nevertheless proceeds to draw him in to a torturous and obsessive relationship. EVA stands as another powerful chapter in Losey's misanthropic investigations into human cruelty and irony. The melodramatic and increasingly sadomasochistic relationship that erupts between the two lovers destroys Tyvian's new marriage and exposes a panoply of betrayal and inhumanity. Moreau is devastatingly beautiful as Eva, projecting her as a damaged beauty, lazing in her glittering estate filled with trophies from past and current conquests, including her absent husband, an engineer on assignment in Africa. Losey crafts a fatalistic mad love that destroys all in its path but leaves the seemingly untouchable and loveless Eva unscathed, all played out against the smoky bohemian ambience of metropolitan Italy and scored with the tortured love songs of Billie Holiday.
Based On A Novel |
Love Triangle |
The final cut of this film, which runs 118 minutes, has been hailed as a masterpiece. Unfortunately, it has rarely been shown as the producers recut the film and released a shortened version, which Losey disowned. The only surviving print of the longer version is a Swedish/Finnish release print preserved by the British Film Institute. Because of the BFI's efforts, Kino was able to release a DVD of the longer version of the film with Swedish and Finnish subtitles and English dialogue.