Viva (2007)

UK Noveau Pictures DVD


Anna Biller as Barbie Smith

 

Text below written 2017-01-05


I heard the ravings about a new horror, The Love Witch (2016), made by a talented filmmaker and artist Anna Biller
and i really wanted to see it but .... it hasn't been released here yet. Hopefully it will be released some day on a DVD
or even better on a Blu-ray. An Anna Biller film is made to be seen in perfect HD with these glorious visuals of hers.
Well, so i looked up an older film - Viva from 2007 and i was blown away with her filmmaking style. Unique.

2017-06-14: Yes, finally The Love Witch was released on Blu-ray (above the UK Icon Home Entertainment
edition) and even on Netflix in streaming video. A very colorful Horror-Drama with the beautiful Samantha Robinson
as the love potion making white witch Elaine Parks

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This woman should get as much money as she wants to make anything she wants when she wants.

Viva is a visual feast and almost every frame looks like a painting, and she made nearly everything on her own, she
directs and acts, she has written it and she animates and plays music .... and probably much more. Just Amazing.
The film could be a retro sex comedy musical but also a drama, and i guess it satirizes the swinging 1960's and early
1970's sexploitation films and the male society sentiments, which probably isn't that much better today.
Maybe Viva's a homage to the free careless spirit regarding sex during this time, i don't know. Anyway, it's a very
entertaining fairytale about a bored housewife that, after loosing her job and a quarrel with her husband, wants to
experience something new in her life. We get to follow her journey into a fairytale like sex world, and then .... back.

The films from the 1960's and maybe even before that did often have these amazing clear colors, as Barbarella, Modesty
Blaise, Mario Bava's films, Antonioni, Leave Her to Heaven (in the 40's) etc. etc. (maybe due to technicolor ?).
So, Viva has these amazing colors also and some beautiful animations during the orgy scene.

Anna Biller is a hyper intelligent female Feminist filmmaker (and i know that after visiting her Facebook page where she
discusses her own films, other director's films and much else with people) and obviously she make her films for females
and for people who gets her references. She's also seems to be a film buff who loves a lot of great directors, just like
Martin Scorsese i.e. and that's very sympathetic, giving other filmmakers credit and not just talk about yourself.

However, as a feminist she would probably hate The Male Eye and any talk about her looks in the film Viva.
So, when i watch Viva and gets aroused by her nakedness and beauty i should be ashamed and be considered a Pig ?
I guess so, OK i'm a pig. But, almost every male in the movie (with the possible exception of Barbie's husband Rick) is
behaving as a lunatic rapist who's got the right to rip the clothes of any woman they want. That's certainly not arousing
(maybe males acted that way in the softcore swinging 60's grindhouse films?) but shown in a satirical "funny" way here.
And i'm sure Anna Biller would KILL me with her words if i wrote this on her facebook page, she probably don't want
any male mentioning her looks even though she's nude a lot in the film, however .... she's very SEXY.

I've read some reviews and the views on the IMDB and it's the war of the intellectuals really. Most clarify that this film
is absolutely NOT titillating, absolutely NOT sexy because of the smart message, the fun, the politics or whatever.
Hypocrites, at least all male highbrow film writers as i'm sure you had a hard time hiding your Boners when watching all
the glorious boobs. Not titillating, sure, sure, bla, bla.
There's something about her being half-japanese and with a slight resemblance to Tura Satana that does it, and Anna Biller
looks Luscious in this film. There it is, someone said it ..... the forbidden words, Barbie is HOT ... and Sheila too.

Sheila (Bridget Brno) and Barbie (Anna Biller) as 2 housewifes looking for the sexual revolution

The Story:

Los Angeles 1972. Meet the Smith's and the Campbell's. Barbie Smith is married to Rick (Chad England) and their
next-door neighbours and friends are ex-TV star Mark Campbell (Jared Sandford) and Sheila Campbell. They wear
colorful retro looking clothes, drinks whiskey and laughs a lot, ha, ha, ha. Everything's fine and rosy.
Barbie works as a secretary but her nasty old boss only wants to grab her boobs and soon she's lost her job. The
Campbell's break up and so does Barbie and Rick after a quarrel.

Barbie changes her hair and removes her bra and off she goes with Sheila in search for sexual adventures. They start
working as call girls with their new aliases Candy (Sheila-Brno) and Viva (Barbie-Biller). Sheila: "I've always wanted
to be a prostitute" - Barbie "It sounds intriguing" .... and after a while Candy and Viva sings some nice songs (written
by ..... who else but the multi-talented Anna Biller). Candy meets an old rich man, a very old rich man.
Viva meets a couple of sleazebags that only wants to rip her clothes off, grab her breasts and start fu--ing. Then there's
an orgy where Viva gets drugged and raped by the artist Clyde (Marcus Deanda) and then time to go home again.

widescreen 1.85:1, english audio 2.0 stereo. Extras: trailer, behind the scenes on Viva with commentary by director
Anna Biller (8 minutes) "it isn't easy directing in a negligé", slideshow, a Booklet with an academic non-titillating text
by Beth Johnson Viva La Vita: Canapés, Cabaret and the Carnal, This is Cine Express (9 minutes)

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