The Love Witch
The Love Witch is a 2016 American comedy horror film written, edited, directed, produced, and scored by Anna Biller. The film stars Samantha Robinson as Elaine, a modern-day witch who uses spells and magic to get men to fall in love with her with disastrous results.
Director: Anna Biller
Box office: 228,894 USD
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Elaine (Samantha Robinson), a beautiful young witch, is determined to find a man to love her. In her gothic Victorian apartment she makes spells and potions, then picks up men and seduces them. However, her spells work too well, and she ends up with a string of hapless victims. When she at last meets the man of her dreams, her desperation to be loved drives her to the brink of insanity and murder.
Release date: November 11, 2016 (USA) and not 1961!
The film is highly stylized with elaborate set and costume design and a color palette to match the aesthetic of a 1960s Technicolor film. Although the film emulates a 1960s look, the story is set in the present day and features modern cars and mobile phones.
Anna Biller designed the sets and costumes to emulate the style of classic Hollywood films, and collaborated closely with her cinematographer M. David Mullen, who is an expert on period cinematography and who has been nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards, to create the hard lighting style characteristic of such films. For the driving scenes, rear projection photography was used to give glamour to the lead actress, and in tribute to the opening of the Hitchcock film The Birds.
The Love Witch uses the figure of the witch as a metaphor for women in general, as both an embodiment of men’s fears of women, and of women’s own innate powers of intuition and as mothers and sorceresses. The lead character of the film is a young woman who uses magic to make men love her. Her character is an examination of the femme fatale archetype.
The film embraces the camp of 1960s horror, examining issues of love, desire, and narcissism through a feminist perspective. Anna Biller is a feminist filmmaker whose take on cinema is influenced by feminist film theory.
The film has received positive reviews for its playful tribute to 1960s horror and Technicolor films, combined with its serious inquiry into contemporary gender roles.