THE LOVE WITCH, written, directed and just-about-everything-elsed by Anna Biller. From the first frame onwards, we're transported back into the 1960s and 70s via the appearance of the men and women here -- their hair styles, make-up, beards, cars, clothing and more -- it is all so redolent of that creamy, voluptuous time period, right down to the copious full-frontal on display. The acting especially, seems to come right out of of the glossy, soft-core porn films of the day. Radley Metzger would plotz, then kvell!
Samantha Robinson, above), unveils to us via voiceover her recent love history, this character comes across as somewhat narcissistic and irresponsible. You think so? Just wait. The dialog, plotting and performances all seem equally strange and "off," and yet so often drop-dead-gorgeous is the movie -- that Victorian era tea room (shown above) is just one of the visual wonders here -- that any real film buff won't want to look away.
Jeffrey Vincent Parisse, above) to man (a very funny Robert Seeley) to man (the fellow who seems to be most perfect, played by Gian Keys, shown below, leading that horse), our Elaine hypnotizes, seduces and then disposes of the poor guys who cross her path and always fail to deliver on her expectations. How and why this keeps happening provide the meat of the movie.
Robert Bresson. Here -- and in certain other performances, too -- behavior seems to have been trounced in favor of the kind of non-acting that will better get across the points Biller want to make. This ends up being something of a trade-off, really. But it does result in a movie that rather stands alone. Think of it as Besson meets Metzger.
Oscilloscope Films, opens this Friday, November 11, in California (in Los Angeles you can see it at Landmark's NuArt and elsewhere around the state) and in Texas (at the Drafthouse in Austin). Next Friday, October 18, it will expand all around the country. In New York, see it at the new Drafthouse in Brooklyn; here in South Florida it will play the Bill Cosford Cinema in Miami. Click here and scroll down to see all currently scheduled playdates, cities and theaters.