Dir. Anna Biller (2007); 120 min
FRIDAY, November 7th at 7 & 9:30pm
SATURDAY, November 8th at 7 & 9:30pm
SUNDAY, November 9th at 3pm
It takes great skill to make an homage to schlock movies that treats them as works of art. Viva is a highly stylized and lovingly re-created, almost fetishistically spot-on tribute to the candy-colored softcore American sexploitation films of the late 60’s. This retro spectacle focuses on a bored, bikini-clad housewife, Barbi, who gets sucked into the sexual revolution when her perfect Ken-doll husband heads off to Aspen for a month of skiing. Barbi 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. The two women relaunch themselves as Viva and Candy, and lunge into a softcore odyssey of sexual activities exploring prostitution, sex parties, nudism, and fabulous musical production numbers.
Director/star Anna Biller put herself both in front of and behind the camera (she was also responsible for writing/editing/wardrobe and set design) in a film that’s saturated with vibrant color and exquisite detail in its depiction of the period. In fact, Viva looks like a lost film from the late ‘60s, even down to the campy and self-assured performances, the big lighting, the plethora of negligees, stylish sex scenes, polyester wardrobes, Hammond organ jams, glitzy show numbers, white horses, and psychedelic animation. The film is a treat for the eye, as many of the sets seem to be lifted from photo shoots of classic Playboy magazines and record sleeve covers, ensuring that we don’t miss the point that this is a satire on, and subversion of, faux-feminism and the consumer-oriented lifestyle of the 1960’s.