Interview: Director Anna Biller on the radical pleasures and subversive politics of The Love Witch

Coming from a background as a visual artist, writer-director Anna Biller makes films that, on one level, can be experienced as pure cinema. But while the aesthetics are undoubtedly pleasurable, underneath the meticulously crafted design of Biller’s films lie sharp satirical observations about the relationships between men and women. In 2007, she directed, wrote, and starred in Viva, a film satirizing the swinging suburban culture that arose amid the sexual revolution of the early 1970s. Her new film is The Love Witch, a candy-colored comedy exploring obsession, self-delusion, and the desire to be loved. These themes are expressed through the character of Elaine (Samantha Robinson), a self-proclaimed “love witch” who uses her occult powers to seduce (and, when necessary, destroy) unwitting men in a small coastal California town.

We spoke to Biller over the phone just days before The Love Witch‘s home video release, where she discussed at …

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