New Eve/B,B+
Image/1999/90/ANA 1.77

      The New Eve is very funny although I would not classify it a comedy. The outrageous behavior of the main character, Catherine, creates off-kilter comedy from otherwise ordinary situations.  Catherine's free-swinging lifestyle, seemingly equally sexually at ease with men or women, sets The New Eve out on the edge. But underneath the tough veneer, Catherine is just another lonely person looking for love. There are plenty of detours in her life until she falls onto the right road, but even that is a pot-holed journey which wreaks havoc on a seemingly happy home. 
     The sensual power of the film is undeniable. Catherine couples in sex with pure animal magnetism and hunger. Catherine is such a flighty character, I found it difficult to take her seriously, even when the film does. My guess is that I enjoyed the film more from the humorous perspective.

Looking for socialist love? ŠImage

          Karin Viard is marvelous as Catherine, the girl in a identity crisis, jumping for happiness like a child sitting quite obviously too far from the brass ring on a merry-go-round. Viard's natural performance, making Catherine's every mood more nuanced than one might expect, insures that the The New Eve  is ever more watchable. The enigma of Eve's character is a fascinating trip. Most of the time her actions are quite detestable, yet Viard somehow finds an earthy charm and innocence within Catherine.
     Catherine Corsini's direction marries to the film with the same free spirit embodied in her main character. Corsini appears to give the actors lots of freedom to expose (sic) themselves. Credit the writer with giving the director characters with energy and libido. Credit the director with realizing the need for on screen freedom. Corsini is one in the same.
     On the downside, for a film set in Paris, not much is made of the glorious location. Perhaps the sophisticated sense of the city might have added another layer of depth to the emancipated characters. In fact, the film seems to live in a provincial world, lacking the beat and worldliness of one of the greatest cities in the world.
     A very handsome widescreen anamorphic transfer with consistently clean images. Details are well-defined, color saturation is pleasing. Overall, if you saw this projected in an art house theater, you'd be more than happy, you would be delighted. Yellow English subtitles on the image are clear and well-proportioned. The titles come fast and furious at times, but it's a measure of the rapid fire delivery of the film. The Dolby Surround is clean but none too directional. Club scenes create a loud ambiance.     Several sources list the film's running time at 94 minutes, but the Image DVD runs only 90. The sexually is pretty frank and the narrative flow does not seem unduly cut, so I can't even hazard a guess at what's missing.



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