Eva (1962), adapted from James Hadley Chase’s book of the same name, marks an under-appreciated part of Joseph Losey’s career. The film was actually supposed to be directed by Jean-Luc Godard, who quickly abandoned the project when his request to have Richard Burton take on the male lead was rejected.
Tyvian Jones (Stanley Baker), a pretentious and arrogant liar, creates a flattering image of himself when using his own name to get the rights for his late brother’s autobiography. In need of inspiration for his next story, he goes to a secluded island near Venice when he unexpectedly falls in love with Eva (Jeanne Moreau), a stunning and manipulative woman who quickly entails him into a vicious spiral of total delinquency. While Tyvian is engaged to Francesca (Virna Lisi), an alluring screenwriter, he follows Eva to Rome and soon enough, she manages to manipulate him psychologically: the masculine figure is led into a perverse game of seduction, dominance and humiliation. While in Rome, Tyvian has to rush back to Francesca because they are supposed to get married but when Fransesca finds Tyvian and Eva together, things take an unexpected turn…
Losey’s film depicts the Genesis’ new Eve, incarnated by Jeanne Moreau, turned into a malicious snake, and offers display of the decadent decline of men.
In English and Italian with English subtitles