The Love Witch

120m | Directed by Anna Biller | USA | Horror, comedy


(Click the showtime to purchase tickets)

FRIDAY, DEC. 9, 2016
7:15pm | 9:35pm

SATURDAY, DEC. 10, 2016
7:15pm | 9:35pm

SUNDAY, DEC. 11, 2016
4:45pm | 7:15pm

MONDAY, DEC. 12, 2016
7:15pm | 9:35pm

TUESDAY, DEC. 13, 2016
7:15pm | 9:35pm

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 14, 2016
7:15pm | 9:35pm

THURSDAY, DEC. 15, 2016
7:15pm | 9:35pm

Nudity, cartoon violence, giallo acting

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, and then picks up men and seduces them. However, her spells work too well, leaving her with a string of hapless victims. When she finally meets the man of her dreams, her desperation to be loved will drive her to the brink of insanity and murder. With a visual style that pays tribute to Technicolor thrillers of the ‘60s, The Love Witch explores female fantasy and the repercussions of pathological narcissism. (c) Oscilloscope

The fear of female sexuality has been a staple of horror movies forever, but The Love Witch does more than simply subvert or parody the erotic underpinnings of the genre.
A.O. Scott | New York Times | Full Review

It’s cloaked in a retro wardrobe and soundtrack (much of the music, by Italy’s Ennio Morricone, is sourced from ’60s thrillers) but loaded with irony and a fluid sense of identity.
Joshua Rothkopf | Time Out | Full Review

Anna Biller: I’ve always been fascinated by old movies. Growing up in Los Angeles, I was steeped in movie history – Los Angeles is full of ghosts – prop houses stocked with old scenery and sets where you can pull up remnants of fake history, people with stories about the movies. A big part of making cinema for me is going into that history: pulling out those old cameras, lenses, props, and obsolete techniques. When I was in college, I read Laura Mulvey’s famous essay “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.” I had never thought of cinema in a gendered way before. Then I realized that one reason I was obsessed with old Hollywood is that they used to make a lot of “women’s pictures,” which were not about men dominating their environments and women, but about social and psychological issues. I vowed from that time on to make a cinema about lived female experience that caters to women’s visual pleasure. I am interested in exploring ideas of what “woman” means in culture, and of presenting the female image on film not as an image to be possessed, but as an image in the mirror.
In THE LOVE WITCH, Elaine, the witch in the film, is a totally “constructed” woman, with layers of makeup, lashes, fetish lingerie, a wig, and Victorian costumes – all of which she hides behind and uses as a weapon. The witch is a very loaded female image, as she stands for both female power and the male fear of female sexuality. She is the female version of the serial killer: a woman who kills for love. She is pathologically narcissistic, and I try to show how the world looks to her from the inside. I was inspired by films such as Polanski’s REPULSION, which details the nightmarish inner life of a damaged woman, and Hitchcock’s MARNIE, which had the Technicolor look and horror-romance quality that I and my cinematographer were going for.

This film was a labor of love. I made all of the renaissance costumes and a custom wardrobe for Elaine, plus a lot of the props, including a hand-hooked pentagram rug. I did hundreds of set and costume sketches and storyboards, made paintings and wrote period music, spent several years on the script, and worked for a year with my lead actress to develop the layers we needed in her character. The film combines my cinematic fantasies – the very pink tea room which expresses Elaine’s princess fantasies, an elaborate renaissance scene, vintage gothic horror touches, a creepy robed coven, a Technicolor design and palette, sculpted lighting – with fragments of emotional pain and desire from my own life and that of other women I’ve known. My hope is that other women will identify with Elaine as I do: as a woman seeking love, who is driven mad by never really being loved for who she is, but only for the male fantasies she has been brainwashed to fulfill.