Filmmaker Anna Biller Takes On A Ladykiller!
I want to share a new project just announced by Director Anna Biller, who is a terrific independent filmmaker from Los Angeles. As wikipedia notes:
“She grew up watching her mother design beautiful clothes, watching her father paint with a vibrant color palette, and watching classic cinema, all of which has had a big influence on her filmmaking practice.”
Do they ever! She’s made two films so far, beginning in 2007 with “VIVA.”
I haven’t been able to find a copy of this film, but I’d love see it, because I admire her visual style – and how she is combining various styles of classic cult cinema in her work…
I am following Biller’s projects because she a refreshing new voice in film who also celebrates the exploitation era of filmmaking as well…more on that in a moment.
She just announced her new project about the infamous character “Bluebeard” – here’s what she posted:
“I had been looking for a novel about a sociopathic man who torments his wife, and I found the perfect novel (as yet a secret)! What’s interesting about the novel is that it shows a strong woman, who never was interested in love before, being caught up in the web of a sociopath so deeply that she loses all of her free will. In terms of the research I did for the script, this is accurate: no matter how strong a person is, they can’t outsmart a sociopath or get them to change their ways. The only way to survive is to make a clean break. Sociopaths often love-bomb women with their charm and sex appeal, so that women become sex-addicted and confused. The typical victim of a sociopath is a person with a good heart who is trusting and loving, who sincerely believes that the sociopath can be rehabilitated. It’s this trust and love that causes the victim to stay longer than another person – often, tragically, long enough to get killed. It’s a fantastic part for an actress, as she must switch between different kinds of awareness as she tries to negotiate her love, trust, sexuality, and suspicions.”
Biller goes on to add:
“The reason I call it a “Bluebeard” picture is that any story about intimidating men that women have reason to be afraid of is a Bluebeard story, after the fairy tale of the same name where a woman marries a wealthy man only to find that he literally has six dead wives locked away in a secret chamber. In modern horror movies, most often the villain is a literal monster (an axe-wielding psychopathic maniac, a masked goon, etc.); but in classic films, the monster was often a woman’s husband or lover, shifting mercurially from dream lover to monster and back again as he went through his different masculine moods. The heroine’s dilemma in these films is to figure out who the man really is. She must decide if she is horrified with him because of her own irrational fears and emotional immaturity, or if he really is an abnormal monster, a killer, someone to flee from.”
I can’t wait to see the filmmaker’s take on this story – you can read more of her thoughts on the project at her website:
And speaking of a madman with six wives frozen away:
Check Out Richard Burton’s “Euro-Sleaze” Take On “Blubeard!”
Time to introduce you to “Bluebeard”, an awful 1972 thriller starring Richard Burton, Raquel Welch, Joey Heatherton and Sybil Danning. It was filmed in Budapest, Hungary and directed by Edward Dmytryk.
“Bluebeard” is a perfect example of the 70’s genre of film known as “euro-sleaze”, cheap films filmed in eastern Europe full of nudity, sex and violence. That’s why the film is stocked with young starlets like Joey Heatherton!
And Raquel Welch Was, Indeed, “The Nun!”
WHAT?!?!?!?! Yes, it just keeps getting more bizarre, as “Bluebeard” stars Raquel Welch playing the world’s sexiest Nun!
This is the kind of “so bad its good” film that is begins saved more now than ever, thanks to great home video companies who remaster these movies so film buffs can see just how wild the 70’s were for film!
Here is the trailer:
If you need more trivia on this film, you can check out my entire story here:
As for Anna Biller, I posted about her latest movie, the terrific erotic thriller “The Love Witch”, her take on 60’s sexploitation films through the filter of 1050’s Douglas Sick films.
Here’s what Richard Brody of The New Yorker said about “The Love Witch”:
“Biller puts genre to the test of do-it-yourself artistry, and puts feminist ideology itself to the test of style. The film pulsates with furious creative energy throughout, sparking excitement and giddy amazement that it even exists.”
“The Love Witch” was on many “best films of 2016” lists, including The New Yorker and Indiewire.
You can see more about it here:
Bravo to filmmaker Anna Biller, can’t wait to see her take on “Bluebeard!”
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