The Love Witch | Chicago Reader
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The Love Witch

This spellbinding ode to exploitation films of the 1960s and '70s is impressive not only for its mock-Technicolor hues and period mise-en-scene but also for what lies beneath: a creepy and cunning examination of female fantasy. A widowed witch (Samantha Robinson), heartbroken by the neglect of her late husband, moves to a small town and seduces a string of men with love potions as a way to feel adored. Director Anna Biller—who also wrote, produced, and edited the film, and created by hand many of its vivid costumes and set decorations—embraces the melodrama and vampy camp of 60s horror while also considering the easy conflation of love, desire, and narcissism. Robert Frost once wrote that “love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired,” and Biller’s witch, both liberated in exploiting her sexuality and repressed by her white-knight fantasies, embodies the idea.

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