If you are into love and witchcraft and Tarot cards (Who isn't?) this film is for you! And the way Anna Biller paints the screen with fabulous colors, great costumes and close-ups of lipstick-covered lips is a wonder to behold. Satanically trashy and devilishly schmaltzy :-))
2016? More like 1966! A lot of recent movies try to reproduce the 60s aesthetics, but none has been so visual accurate as this one - colors, sets, costumes, hair and make-up - if it wasn't for the modern cars and mobile phones, it would fool anyone.
What if the femme fatale's curse on the admirer was a literal act of witchcraft? The concept of lust leading to a compromised man's downfall and sex as manipulation is prevalent through literary history (think: The Wife of Bath in Canterbury Tales) and cinema (think: Russ Meyers meets Dario Argento and Alfred Hitchcock). Trashy anachronisms camp up feminist views that Glazer's 'Under The Skin' achieved with aplomb.
The sort of movie where what I love most is that it exists—and as an act of inspiration and pluck, that's no small feat. What it has to say about what men and women expect from one another is sharp and clever, not least in the hints that none of the witchcraft is real, just a sexy confused woman and smitten confused men. It drags lethally, but I want to see Biller continue in this vein—there's a great film in her.
After 9 years the director of 'Viva' is back with another meticulously produced genre homage. Biller revisits the early 1970's semi-supernatural witch thrillers that were prevalent in both theatres and television movies. Like 'Viva' the attention to detail in set design and production value is quite astounding but like 'Viva' the runtime is excessive which mutes the final result. Worth a look for its excesses.
"Why does a genuine love of a woman scare you so much? You think that your way is a superior way to live? Only men make us work so hard for your love. If you would just love us for ourselves, but you won't. All my life I've been tossed in the garbage, except when men wanted to use my body. So, I decided to find my own power."
A triumph of art-direction perhaps but it felt like encasing the actors in a campy sarcophagus is extremely limiting. To me this was a study in missed opportunities since there are inumerable times one of the actors could actually REACT to, say, a bloody tampon in an unexpected fashion that would comment on the films they're aping but alas they lazily remain where they started- kitsch objects trapped in a diorama.