Cinema Clips: The Love Witch

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A witch (Samantha Robinson) moves to a new town after losing her husband, casting spells on men to make them fall in love with her.

Writer-director Anna Biller’s crazy ode to sixties Technicolor horror is an absolute triumph of art direction, and also a keen riff on gender issues. The movie looks like it was made by Roman Polanski in a trippy mood; the performers are mostly clad in sixties garb, even though the film is set in the present. Only the occasional cellular phone and late model car reveals that the movie is set in the present, with everything else, including the melodramatic performances and pacing, suggests the sixties.

It’s a weird and rewarding movie experience, even if it does drag on about thirty minutes too long. Robinson makes for an entrancing lead, and deserves extra credit for the pacing of her performance. Her exaggerated line delivery seems delivered straight from the set of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.

Biller not only wrote and directed the film, but also composed its score, designed the sets and made the costumes. This is a director who knows exactly what she wants. This is one of the film year’s most unique achievements. There’s nothing quite like it, unless you go fifty years back in time.

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