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Anna Biller's grindhouse homage 'The Love Witch' casts a spell

Anna Biller's grindhouse homage 'The Love Witch' casts a spell

The Love Witch, the year’s most singular independent feature, opens its weeklong run at the Gene Siskel Film Center this Friday. Written and directed by Anna Biller (Viva), this pungent feminist parable pays expert homage to and hilariously satirizes grindhouse genres popular in the ‘60s and early ‘70s, notably the occult thriller and softcore porn. The film is so exacting in its loving recreation of the sights and sounds of that era (especially in terms of costume and set design, which Biller literally worked on for years before filming) that one could easily mistake it as actually originating from the period—until a character pulls out a cell phone. While obviously the work of a hardcore cinephile, The Love Witch is also much more than mere pastiche; lurking beneath the kitschy surface is a genuine sense of tragedy as well as a thematically complex statement about gender relations in the real world and the reel world.

The plot concerns the eponymous character, recently widowed Elaine (played to perfection by the bewitching Samantha Robinson), relocating from San Francisco to a small town among the redwoods. Elaine has an insatiable desire to be loved and presents herself to every hunk she meets as his ultimate fantasy in order to “unlock his love potential.” Samantha is both a sympathetic heroine with a near-religious view of romantic love as uncompromising ideal (Biller has cited Dreyer’s Gertrud as an influence) as well as a funhouse-mirror of the shallowest desires of the men she encounters—all of whom soon realize that Samantha’s love comes at a price. When the bodies start piling up, Detective Griff (Gian Keys) investigates but soon finds that he is not entirely immune to Samantha’s charms. Fittingly for a film with a retro-aesthetic, The Love Witch will screen at the Siskel in a 35mm print, making it a crucial big-screen experience for local movie fans. 

The Love Witch opens on Friday, November 25 and runs through Thursday, December 1. For more information, including ticket info and showtimes, visit www.siskelfilmcenter.org.

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Paris T

*I knew I was a bad wife and mother for invariably pushing my husband to the point of hating me or seeing me with the kids. But I never let my bad attitude towards him let me feel like I am the worst woman out there. So, I fought inside of me to change the bad attitude and win back my husband’s heart for over six years but could not until he threatened me with a divorce and a restraining order, not only to keep me away from him, but away from our kids. 

*Because I can’t stand losing them, I threw away my pride and went spiritual on myself with the aid of doctor wakina (dr.wakinalovetemple@gmail.com), I was brought to light and made to understand that “it is of a great significant to make my husband happy and I must start by making myself happy”. 

*I boldly acknowledge the spiritual power doctor wakina carries that cured me from myself for four days and overturned my husband’s decisions. For over four months I have been having an entertaining moment with myself and family, a lot of things has changed both physical and spiritual. I say thank you Dr. Wakina for saving me from myself and restoring my marriage. 

*Love… Paris Tyne

Merrith D

My name is Claudia Jenna, I almost took my life because of my ex who left me and stop picking my calls. He said do not trust me anymore, I tried to convince him, but he will not believe me until we had a fight and broke up for 8months, after then I realize I can not live without him because of the love I have for him. I tried everything possible to get him back, but non worked for me, some fake spell casters scammed me and went away with my money until I came across this man called Olorun, he cast a spell for me and behold my ex came back after three days, begging me for forgiveness, I was so surprised that spell caster like kabaka still exist. If anyone here needs some help, with all sincerity, contact Olorun via his email: (olorunoduduwaspiritualtemple@gmail.com)