The latest film screening in the Adapting Miss Highsmith season at Hyde Park Picture House, is Michel Deville’s thriller of marital disharmony, Deep Water (Eaux profondes, 1981), adapted from Patricia Highsmith’s novel of the same name.
The season of films, showing on DCPs at select cinemas in the UK, was curated by Edinburgh’s Filmhouse in association Waterstones bookshops (and supported by the BFI) and has a total of 13 films, 12 features and 1 short, that represent the majority of major film adaptations of Patricia Highsmith’s work. Only two of these (Todd Haynes’s Carol and the short, A Mighty Nice Man, directed by Jonathan Dee) were helmed by a director from Highsmith’s home country, suggesting that her popularity was greater in Europe.
Monday’s film, Eaux Profondes was directed by Michel Deville, a lesser known director from the French Nouvelle Vague era. He is a director known primarily for his erotic comedies and dramas, but this film, funnily enough, recalls the psychological thrillers of Claude Chabrol.
The plot concerns a married couple Vic (Jean-louis Trintignant playing a familiar character from Highsmith’s thrillers, a charismatic psychopath) and Melanie (Isabelle Huppert), whose relationship is fraught with jealousy. Vic appears to have secretive affairs, and also does little to stop his much younger wife flirting and possibly sleeping with other men, then when Vic’s jealousy drives him to murder, suspicions towards him create fresh tension in their lives.
Check out the Adapting Miss Highsmith website for more info on the season: https://adaptingmisshighsmith.com