Is the good cinema coming back?
If the trailer for Anna Biller’s latest feature The Love Witch is anything to go by, it finally is – the kind of cinema that’s pleasing not only emotionally but also aesthetically. The kind of cinema thought lost since the late 1970’s – films bold enough to embody their makers’ aesthetic views in each frame, each cut, each carefully selected prop, each note on the soundtrack.
With its eye-popping colours, lovingly composed shots, gorgeous set design and atmospheric sound scape (and fabulous costumes!), The Love Witch promises to be a one-of-a-kind feast for the senses.
Judging from the trailer, The Love Witch is an ironic retro-melodrama with some mild horror elements. According to the director, the film is an attempt at expressing the complex sensation of being a woman in a society where conventional ‘retro’ femininity is all but outlawed. In The Love Witch the multitalented artist and filmmaker Anna Biller (who has dedicated months to creating the many exquisite costumes and set designs echoing the 1950’s studio films with her own hands) employs the tropes of such ‘old-fashioned’ genres as Douglas Sirk-style melodramas and Hollywood musicals to make a statement regarding woman’s place in contemporary society.
Having made a name for herself with a number of 16mm short films, Biller has made her feature debut with Viva(2008), a gloriously kitschy comedy that has garnered positive response at film festivals across Europe. The Love Witch is another step further towards embodying the untamed femininity on the screen. Apart from writing and directing the film, Biller has also edited and scored The Love Witch herself. The gorgeous cinematography is courtesy of M. David Mullen (Jennifer’s Body) while the demanding lead role is essayed by Samantha Robinson.
Here’s to hoping The Love Witch finds a good distributor so that Anna Biller may continue to thread the fine line between art and kitsch and make more daring, dazzling, delightful films.