“The Love Witch” Review

9 March, 2017

Director: Anna Biller
Screenwriter: Anna Biller
Director of Photography: M. David Mullen 
Cast: 
Samantha Robinson, Jeffrey Vincent Parise, Laura Waddell

Synopsis: A beautiful witch with deadly powers uncovers the history behind her erotic ways, struggling to find true love while inadvertently cursing all men who succumb to the temptations of her seduction.

The Love Witch Review:

A countercultural headspin with a self-aware conscience, “The Love Witch” explores the psychedelic qualities of vintage cinema, replicating the most charming aspects of the thrillers and melodramas of the 1960s while parodying the very format that brought such movies to life. Made with a contemporary sense of humour yet delivered as if it were filmed over half a century ago, the film allows wit and weirdness to calculate its sense of direction as Technicolor dazzles and distracts from the specifics of the screenplay with sumptuous moments of aesthetic giddiness, mimicking the rich reds and bold pastiche of De Palma and Tarantino while indulging in the criminal plotting of Hitchcock and Polanski.

Full to the brim with perplexing content, “The Love Witch” openly challenges new-age notions of femininity through its emphasis on the stages of desire, dissimilarity, and miscommunication between the sexes. Man’s weakness, depicted only in relation to his raging lust for beautiful women, becomes Woman’s strength as a witch with a love spell discovers complete power and independence through the weaponisation of her body. While the movie solely focuses on the struggle between the feminine and the masculine, its assessment of the smitten pleasures behind romance forms the basis for a wholly universal take on unrequited love and mismatched ideals, challenging traditional notions of hysterical behaviour through the unearthly powers of the pentagram.

By planting the love drug and simply watching it grow, writer-director Anna Biller creates an instant icon out of her radiant femme fatale who boils potions, reads tarot cards, and delights in the jest of her Pagan lifestyle. Performed to perfection by the gorgeous Samantha Robinson, the intoxicating temptress is stolen from a forgotten era and her modern-day Hammer Horror is a place where Jane Fonda and Pam Grier would feel instantly at home as pink-lipped sirens given their very own Giallo movie. In retrospect, Biller’s vintage obsession is perhaps more closely linked to the music of forlorn singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey whose classical beauty and fascination with tragic romance has shaped her entire career and arguably influenced filmmakers looking to recapture the past through a more autonomous frame of reference.

 

   

Summary
Review Date
Movie
The Love Witch
Rating
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