Updated: Apr 9, 2022
Joseph Losey was blacklisted by the McCarthy Committee and migrated to the UK where he continued to make films. But despite significant contributions to the world of cinema, he never quite made it to mainstream cinematic memory; so it comes as good news that MUBI is streaming EVA, a thriller he made in 1962 starring Jeanne Moreau, Stanley Baker and a gorgeous Virna Lisi. Based on a James Hadley Chase novel, this French-Italian co-production follows a debutant novelist played by a charming Baker who has just achieved phenomenal success and has everything going for him – till he meets a mysterious jazz-loving call girl with a fiercely independent mind played by Jeanne Moreau, while being engaged to Virna Lisi whom he meets at a film party in Venice. What transpires is a love triangle, seething with a sense of foreboding that is stunningly photographed in black and white. Shuttling between Rome and Venice, the mise-en-scene is marked by some excellent blocking that looks seemingly casual, set against evocative backdrops. The whole atmosphere is very 60s art house European cinema – but with Losey’s distinctive touch.
You can’t miss this one. Check this out on MUBI.
Ranjan Das is a Mumbai based filmmaker and faculty.