Joseph Losey directs Jeanne Moreau, Stanley Baker and Virna Lisi in this Venice-set drama where a young author with inner demons falls for a malicious high class call girl.
Lust becomes a warzone. Jeanne Moreau’s enigmatic and callous siren manipulates, berates and destroys her prey. She slinks about to jazz records like a jigsaw puzzle piece. She appears at Venice landmarks like a phantom. She laughs in your face with animalistic glee as you forsake your last shred of dignity. It is a great physical performance by Jeanne Moreau who looks fabulous. Stanley Baker is a bit of a lunk so you have no real sympathy for him as the brainwashed victim of her sexy bullying. Italy looks damp, ornate and harsh – still very beautiful. Losey’s direction experiments with jump cuts and symbolism. Everything is desolate, and yet even the desolation is gorgeously enthralling. Would make a great double bill with Don’t Look Now.
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