Without a conventional narrative or clearly motivated characters, Joseph Losey presents a misanthropic vision of sexuality and obsession, brilliantly shot by regular Fellini and Antonioni cinematographer Gianni di Venanzo. Jeanne Moreau fearlessly inhabits the sultry, shameless gold digger who seduces, manipulates and torments a phoney Welsh writer (Stanley Baker).
Relying on overt symbolism, Losey indulges in elaborate sets, flamboyant costumes and figurative objects to paint a picture of languid decadence in post-La dolce vita Italy. Based on James Hadley Chase’s 1945 bestselling novel and showcasing a great jazz score by Michel Legrand.
35mm print courtesy of the Eye Film Museum.