Luka Machnich’s film The Eve deserves all the recognitions, special mentions and awards it received over the years. Its fruitful festival life indicates the film's exceptional qualities. The challenge to craft a review turns into an enthusiastic analysis of the various aspects of filmmaking, which are indeed sophisticated. It's in the fascinating concept and mixture of techniques that the audience is an active viewer for the first time, yet a devoted film student on the second and third re-watch.
Foreknowledge of Machnich’s work is valuable for better access to his authentic artistic vision. His notes and personal statements are necessary appendixes of the cryptic short film that meets the highest expectations. From the presentation documents such as the logline and brief synopsis, one can understand the passion and dedication for the film as an art and a medium that communicates with the educated audience. It might be a cliché to state that The Eve is not the ordinary genre film intended for the mainstream audience that depicts cinema as entertainment, but rather for the demographics that know how to read subtext and are aware of the auteur approach towards making it.
Another unique selling point for The Eve is the animation. Its build-up is confident, and after the midpoint twist, it becomes an invaluable storytelling technique. Animation is the most challenging form of expression, but nevertheless, it brings the production, hence the final form, to another level, making the film stand out from the crowd. It's not a coincidence or matter of luck that The Eve picked up prominent film awards – it's one of those experiences that the curious and passionate viewer never forgets. The Eve sets new standards for short films, from the shooting format marked by the classic Super 16 to the atmosphere-driven narrative and courageous artisanship, which never intends to make compromises with structures or strict directions. However, one shouldn't mistake the storytelling to be frivolous.
The Eve is a narrative film with a clearly identified concept, developed and complex characters and a transparent beginning, middle part and end, although as Godard would say, 'not necessarily in that order'.
A substantial amount of film theories and visual syntaxes can be recognized in The Eve, providing immensely for the overall context and underlying set of meanings. The devil is in the details, as the details (i.e. props from the production design) are sometimes in the front end and the characters in the background. The juxtaposition of elements inside the composition is essential for using Eisenstein's methods of montage. The montage deserves a special mention; film students should pay close attention to the editing techniques and how they move the story forward.
There's no doubt that film students would see The Eve as a lesson on filmmaking.
In conclusion, The Eve is an artistic film made by an established auteur who masters the history of world cinema and film language and clearly deserves to be the winner of the Best Film award and Best Editor award of our 1st Edition of FIFF in 2017.