Tag Archives: The Love Witch

Anna Biller’s ‘The Love Witch’ Screens Tonight

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Come see the Love Witch and a Q & A  with Director Anna Biller at the Los Angeles Nuart Theater!

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-10-15-51-am

THE LOVE WITCH

Actress Samantha Robinson
Plus Principal Cast Members
Fri Nov 11, 7:00pm show w/Q&A*
Sat Nov 12, 7:00pm show w/Q&A
Sun Nov 13, 4:00pm show w/Q&A
*With Filmmaker Anna Biller

Viewed by Larry Gleeson.

The Love Witch is the second feature film from Anna Biller and it recently received distribution from Oscilloscope Laboratories. Biller’s first feature was Viva(2007), a dramedy about two Los Angeles suburbanites who experiment with drugs, sex and bohemia in the 1970’s. Both films are shot in 35mm. Biller wrote, directed and produced The Love Witch and also made many of the props and paintings and is credited with Costuming and Production Design. Biller also devoted time and efforts to the film’s musical score and composition and has quickly become known for using classic and outdated film genres to communicate the feminine role within contemporary culture. Interestingly, with The Love Witch Biller creates a visual style that pays tribute to the Technicolor thrillers of the 1960’s while exploring aspects of female fantasy along with the repercussions of pathological narcissism.

elaine_red

In the film’s opening, blood-red, gothic text provides introductory credits. Soon we see the film’s protagonist Elaine, a stunningly, good-looking young witch, played by the svelte Samantha Robinson, driving in a mint-condition, red mustang convertible from the mid-to-late 1960’s. An inner voice-over narration informs the viewer Elaine is leaving the city (San Francisco) driving into the redwoods where no one will know her. A flashback to the scene of her former husband Jerry’s death and more voice-over indicate Elaine suffered a nervous breakdown after he “left her” and she’s under suspicion.

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-10-20-14-am

As Elaine is driving the Mustang convertible in the first scene Biller appears to pay homage to Hitchcock’s Psycho  with some nice camera work from cinematographer M. David Mullen with a police cruiser appearing in the rear view mirror coupled with a closeup of an eyeball. Other closeups are provided in this sequence of a Tarot deck and a heart card with swords through it as well as an opened pack of cigarettes. It becomes quite clear Elaine is hell-bent on having a man to love her.

Without much adieu, Elaine moves into a small-town (presumably in or near Eureka, California) and holes up in a three-story, royal purple Victorian home. Her friend Barbara, another witch, played by Jennifer Ingrum, has made available an apartment space within. The apartment décor seemed rather peculiar to the interior decorator, Trish, played by Laura Waddell, who welcomed Elaine and showed her the place. Trish commented she had decorated the apartment with the peculiar color scheme from a soft tarot deck while Barbara and “her students” provided the occult paintings and other similarly styled wiccan décor adornments.

The costuming and visual colors are alluring and highly feminine complete with a golden-haired harpist maiden and large pastel-colored hats in a Victorian Tea Room for ‘Ladies Only.’ Here Elaine reveals she has fairy princess fantasies and that all women are just little girls underneath with dreams of a prince carrying them off on a white horse. Trish agrees she has those fantasies too – commenting about how ridiculous it all is. After a slight pause Elaine confides she doesn’t think she’s found her Prince Charming yet. However, she believes she’s discovered the formula as she’s been studying parapsychology and now knows everything there is to know about men.

Her “formula” are spells and potions she conjures up in her apartment. She then proceeds to pick up her unsuspecting male victims, seduce them and leaves them forlorn and hapless. Finally, she at last meets her Prince Charming. However, her overriding and desperate need to be loved drives her to the edge of insanity and to murder.

elaine_knife

The Love Witch is a beautifully lush film with its lavish, fetish costuming and meticulous set designs. It also has a 1960’s look and feel despite its contemporary setting and it makes extensive use of high-key lighting as it delves into female culturally defined roles with entrancing scene work. These filmmaking techniques and production design attributes allow Biller to encode feminist ideas within the frames of cinematic aesthetics and visual pleasure. And even though Biller was making a film for women, I can tell you after seeing this film, it’s a film made for men, too, with what could arguably have the longest running female tampon joke. The Love Witch is wholeheartedly recommended and dare I say…. “a film to die for.” It’s intriguing and, in my opinion, it’s fun!

ritual_gahan

Again, the film will be screening in Los Angeles at the Landmark Nuart on November 11th and in New York on November 18th, with additional screenings in select theaters across the country. Hope to see you there!

(Press materials provided courtesy of Marina Bailey PR)

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7 Questions with THE LOVE WITCH Director Anna Biller

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Blossoming auteur, Anna Biller, makes her follow-up directorial to her self-headlined Viva with this fantastical, comedic, Technicolor thriller of Elaine, a beautiful young witch, with an undying determination to find a man to love her. In her gothic Victorian apartment she makes spells and potions, and then picks up men and seduces them. Her spills and potions work a little too well, leaving a string of helpless, hapless victims. After she finally meets up with the man of her dreams, her desperation to be loved drives her over the edge of insanity to commit murder.

Come see the Love Witch and a Q & A  with Director Anna Biller at the Los Angeles Nuart Theater!

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-10-15-51-am

THE LOVE WITCH

Actress Samantha Robinson
Plus Principal Cast Members
Fri Nov 11, 7:00pm show w/Q&A*
Sat Nov 12, 7:00pm show w/Q&A
Sun Nov 13, 4:00pm show w/Q&A
*With Filmmaker Anna Biller

The Love Witch is the second feature film from Anna Biller and it recently received distribution from Oscilloscope Laboratories. Biller’s first feature was Viva(2007), a dramedy about two Los Angeles suburbanites who experiment with drugs

HollywoodGlee talked with Biller about the film screening in select theaters beginning November 11th. For detailed information on screenings click here.

  1. How Did the Premise Of The Screenplay for TheLove Witch come to you?

elaine_wayne-1I wanted to write something to do with women’s psychology.  So, I created a character who has a very complex psychology that allowed her to have power over men by using her sexuality. And, I wanted the audience to get to know my character. I spent the first phase of the process writing dialogue that would express the psychology of my characters. I wanted Elaine to be from the Golden Age of Film where intelligent women characters are interesting to learn about while getting to know who they are as people. I ended up cutting much of the other characters dialogue in the editing process.

2. Horror films about witchcraft and the occult often don’t have comedic tones.

anna_biller_1
Anna Biller

The Love Witch isn’t necessarily meant to be comedy. It’s just the absurdity of the relationship aspect. Relationship issues are often comedic so I feel it’s an interesting dynamic that adds color to the witchcraft versus it all being dark and frightening.

 3. You’re credited with writing, directing, set design and costuming.

I enjoy making things with my hands. It took me seven years to create the props and the costumes. I didn’t have the financing of a studio so I could oversee it and still have control.

4. Your lead actor Samantha Robinson had been a stage actor and a model. What did she bring to the character of Elaine that surprised you?

She had been doing theater and was taking acting classes. She brought a strong presence with her poise and added a lot to the character with her subtle nuances.

 5. Any filmmakers have an influence on your work?

Alfred Hitchcock. He was a master technician. His use of lighting to convey meaning and emotion and his use of psychology especially with women are big influences. I spent a lot of time working out the character’s psychology and needed to re-write and adjust some of the dialogue to keep the pace of the film where I wanted it. I would have loved to have been able to fulfill all the characters.

elaine_richard-1

6. Why did you choose Technicolor for your films?

The films I watched were made in Technicolor so I wanted my films to look that way. I feel it’s a richer viewing experience with color. I use a lot of red.

7. What’s next?

I’d like to do a film about a sociopathic husband from the wife’s point of view as she uncovers the issues her husband has been hiding from her.

The Love Witch opens in Los Angeles  at the Landmark Nuart Theater on November 11th. For information on additional screenings click here.

Here is a Public Service Announcement courtesy of Oscilloscope Labs:

FILM REVIEW: The Love Witch (Biller, 2016): USA

Viewed by Larry Gleeson.

The Love Witch is the second feature film from Anna Biller and it recently received distribution from Oscilloscope Laboratories. Oscilloscope Laboratories is scheduled to release The Love Witch in 35mm in Los Angeles at the Landmark Nuart on November 11th and in New York on November 18th, with additional screenings in select theaters across the country.

Biller’s first feature was Viva(2007), a dramedy musical about two Los Angeles suburbanites who experiment with drugs, sex and bohemia in the 1970’s. Both films are shot in 35mm. Biller wrote, directed and produced The Love Witch and also made many of the props and paintings and is credited with Costuming and Production Design. Biller also devoted time and efforts to the film’s musical score and composition and has quickly become known for using classic and outdated film genres to communicate the feminine role within contemporary culture. Interestingly, with The Love Witch Biller creates a visual style that pays tribute to the Technicolor thrillers of the 1960’s while exploring aspects of female fantasy along with the repercussions of pathological narcissism.

elaine_red

In the film’s opening, blood-red, gothic text provides introductory credits. Soon we see the film’s protagonist Elaine, a stunningly, good-looking young witch, played by the svelte Samantha Robinson, driving in a mint-condition, red mustang convertible from the mid-to-late 1960’s. An inner voice-over narration informs the viewer Elaine is leaving the city (San Francisco) driving into the redwoods where no one will know her. A flashback to the scene of her former husband Jerry’s death and more voice-over indicate Elaine suffered a nervous breakdown after he “left her” and she’s under suspicion.

As Elaine is driving the Mustang convertible in the first scene Biller appears to pay homage to Hitchcock’s Psycho  with some nice camera work from cinematographer M. David Mullen with a police cruiser appearing in the rear view mirror coupled with a closeup of an eyeball. Other closeups are provided in this sequence of a Tarot deck and a heart card with swords through it as well as an opened pack of cigarettes. It becomes quite clear Elaine is hell-bent on having a man to love her.

Without much adieu, Elaine moves into a small-town (presumably in or near Eureka, California) and holes up in a three-story, royal purple Victorian home. Her friend Barbara, another witch, played by Jennifer Ingrum, has made available an apartment space within. The apartment décor seemed rather peculiar to the interior decorator, Trish, played by Laura Waddell, who welcomed Elaine and showed her the place. Trish commented she had decorated the apartment with the peculiar color scheme from a soft tarot deck while Barbara and “her students” provided the occult paintings and other similarly styled wiccan décor adornments.

Biller makes an interesting choice with her filmmaking in the next scene as she makes a leap, or jump cut, to a lavish Victorian Tea Room for Ladies Only after Elaine said she’d only need a moment to freshen up. The costuming and visual colors are alluring and highly feminine complete with a golden-haired harpist maiden and large pastel-colored hats. Here Elaine reveals she has fairy princess fantasies and that all women are just little girls underneath with dreams of a prince carrying them off on a white horse. Trish agrees she has those fantasies too – commenting about how ridiculous it all is. After a slight pause Elaine confides she doesn’t think she’s found her Prince Charming yet. However, she believes she’s discovered the formula as she’s been studying parapsychology and now knows everything there is to know about men.

Her “formula” are spells and potions she conjures up in her apartment. She then proceeds to pick up her unsuspecting male victims, seduce them and leaves them forlorn and hapless. Finally, she at last meets her Prince Charming. However, her overriding and desperate need to be loved drives her to the edge of insanity and to murder.

elaine_knife

The Love Witch is a beautifully lush film with its lavish, fetish costuming and meticulous set designs. It also has a 1960’s look and feel despite its contemporary setting and it makes extensive use of high-key lighting as it delves into female culturally defined roles with entrancing scene work. These filmmaking techniques and production design attributes allow Biller to encode feminist ideas within the frames of cinematic aesthetics and visual pleasure. And even though Biller was making a film for women, I can tell you after seeing this film, it’s a film made for men, too, with what could arguably have the longest running female tampon joke. The Love Witch is wholeheartedly recommended and dare I say…. “a film to die for.” It’s intriguing and, in my opinion, it’s fun!

ritual_gahan

Again, the film will be screening in Los Angeles at the Landmark Nuart on November 11th and in New York on November 18th, with additional screenings in select theaters across the country. Hope to see you there.

(Press materials provided courtesy of Marina Bailey PR)

THE LOVE WITCH: A film by Anna Biller

the-love-witchTHE LOVE WITCH, a film written, produced, and directed by Anna Biller starring Samantha Robinson, Laura Waddell, Jeffrey Vincent Parise, Gian Keys, Jared Sanford, Robert Seeley and Jennifer Ingrum is “an astonishingly lush, entrancing marvel that debuted at the Rotterdam Film Festival.”

Oscilloscope Laboratories is scheduled to release THE LOVE WITCH in 35mm in Los Angeles at the Nuart on November 11th and in New York on November 18th, with additional screenings at select theaters across the country.

Biller is known for her use of classic and outdated film genres to talk about female roles within culture, coding feminist ideas within cinematic aesthetics and visual pleasure. She creates all of her own costumes and set designs, making many or the props and paintings as well as composing and scoring for her films. THE LOVE WITCH, was made using only traditional film processes.

Elaine (Samantha Robinson), a beautiful young witch, is determined to find a man to love her. In her gothic Victorian apartment she makes spells and potions, and then picks up men and seduces them. However, her spells work too well, leaving her with a string of hapless victims. When she finally meets the man of her dreams, her desperation to be loved will drive her to the brink of insanity and murder.

With a visual style that pays tribute to Technicolor thrillers of the ‘60s, THE LOVE WITCH explores female fantasy and the repercussions of pathological narcissism.

 

Here’s what leading critics are saying about THE LOVE WITCH:

“Extravagantly fulfills the filmmaker’s intention to create ‘visual pleasure for women.”

Steve Dollar, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

 

“Biller shot it, ravishingly, on 35mm and furnished every frame with uncanny precision; the result really could pass as a relic of the era. That it’s quite funny and charming seems almost beside the point.”

Calum Marsh, THE VILLAGE VOICE

 

“Sex, death, Satanic rituals, God-level costume design, and cinema’s greatest tampon joke ensue, as Biller spins an arch but hyper-sincere story about the true price of patriarchy. A spellbinding homage to old pulp paperbacks and the Technicolor melodramas of the 1960s, Anna Biller’s THE LOVE WITCH is a throwback that’s told with the kind of perverse conviction and studied expertise that would make Quentin Tarantino blush.”

David Ehrlich, INDIEWIRE

 

“A metaphysical astonishment. The costumes and furnishings, Biller’s own handmade versions of the era’s candy-coated extravagances, are as exquisitely arch and theatrical as the performances and the action, which—for all their comic exaggeration—echo with an uncanny symbolic power.”

Richard Brody, THE NEW YORKER

Check back for a full review coming soon…

See you at the movies!

(Excerpt from The Love Witch press materials courtesy of Marina Bailey PR)