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Media Launch of the Alliance Française Film Festival

October 24, 2018




The film Eva (1962) was directed by Joseph Losey who was inspired by The New Wave and Italian auteur films of the 60s paying homage to the two men who were at the time were the supreme masters of Italian cinema – Federico Fellini and Michelangelo Antonioni. Eva was a French and Italian co production.

Director Joseph Losey

Watching this film at the Astor cinema in Melbourne in October 2018 made me only too aware of how dated this film is today, it seems many young people in the audience found it unintentionally funny. It is extremely melodramatic and its moral imperatives adultery, sex, gambling, drinking, fraud are all acceptable in 2018.

The film is about Eva, played by Jeanne Moreau – a glacial goddess of manipulation and destruction who is totally corrupt but a beguiling femme fatale. Eva wins the soul of a famous pretentious writer Tyvian Jones ( Stanley Baker) whose supposedly latest book is called rather ironically L’etranger en enfer The stranger in hell. The film is set in Venice in winter and is visually stunning albeit in black and white.

Sociologically its a fascinating film. When the writer slaps the feisty Eva across the face she retaliates by saying “only my husband is allowed to do that”. How times have changed.

Moreau’s face and voice are as always beguiling but it is the clothes and sound track that are totally mesmerising. In the film the character Eva is compulsively listening to a Billy Holiday’s song “ Willow weep for me “ that becomes the soundtrack of the film. The clothes were designed by Pierre Cardin of whom Moreau had a romantic five year relationship. She twice wears his iconic cropped jacket with large buttons and a rosette and appears in Cardin’s stunning brocade evening gown with a crystal beaded skirt. The wardrobe and hats that Eva wears in the film are très très chic proving that if you want to be a successful femme fatale you certainly need a glamorous wardrobe.



Quotes by Jeanne Moreau

On the film director Joseph Losey – “I love the way he films; it’s very personal, very brilliant”

On life – “Don’t take care of yourself because you want to stop time. Do it for self-respect. It’s an incredible gift, the energy of life. You don’t have to be a wreck. You don’t have to be sick. One’s aim in life should be to die in good health. Just like a candle that burns out.”

“Age does not protect you from love – but love to some extent protects you from age”

“If you want to live through to the end, you have to live dangerously” 



One Comment leave one →
  1. Charles Rajkovic permalink
    October 24, 2018 2:22 am

    Thank you Allison, Some wonderful films. Love Charles

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