Viva (2007) is a cult retro spectacle about a bored 1970s housewife who gets sucked into the sexual revolution. Abandoned by her perfect Ken-doll husband, Barbi (writer/director Anna Biller, The Love Witch) is dragged into trouble by her girlfriend, who spouts women's lib as she gets Barbi to discard her bra and go out on the town. Barbi becomes a Red Riding Hood in a sea of wolves, and quickly learns a lot more than she wanted to about the different kinds of scenes going on in the wild '70s, including nudist camps, the hippie scene, orgies, bisexuality, sadism, drugs, and bohemia. Viva is a highly stylized film that draws on classic exploitation cinema and vintage Playboy magazines for its look and characters. Saturated to the hilt with vibrant color, and exquisitely detailed in its depiction of the period, Viva looks like a lost film from 1972, even down to the campy and self-assured performances, the big lighting, the plethora of negligées, and the delirious assortment of Salvation Army ashtrays, lamps, fabrics, and bric-a-brac. Whether you're looking for naked people dancing, alcoholic swingers, stylish sex scenes, a sea of polyester, Hammond organ jams, glitzy show numbers, white horses, blondes in the bathtub, gay hairdressers, or psychedelic animation, Viva has it all!
Director: Anna Biller
Starring: Anna Biller, Jared Sanford, Briget Brno.
Runtime: 120 min.
Thursday, March 7
TROUBLE EVERY DAY 2001
Claire Denis’s poetic take on the body-horror genre is an atmospheric reverie of blood and lust that lays bare the filmmaker’s core artistic concerns around power, desire, and delirium. Newlyweds Shane (a perfectly cast Vincent Gallo) and June (Tricia Vessey) arrive in Paris for their honeymoon. In the process of trying to find a cure for his strange, bloodthirsty disease, Shane stumbles upon the story of a doctor (Alex Descas) and his flesh-eating wife (Béatrice Dalle). Shimmering with haunting beauty—with seductive cinematography by Agnès Godard and an ethereal score by Tindersticks—TROUBLE EVERY DAY is a mesmerizing blend of gore and sensuality that ranks among Denis’s supreme achievements.
Thursday, March 21
Director: Claire Denis
Starring: Béatrice Dalle, Vincent Gallo, Tricia Vessey.
Runtime: 101 min.
Language: French, English w/ English subtitles