VIVA will be shown on November 17th, 2012 as part of a SFCult 35mm double-bill with THE FRIGHTENED WOMAN (FEMINA RIDENS) at San Francisco’s historic Victoria Theater. Buy tickets here!
After BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS but before MAD MEN there was VIVA. With psychedelic colors, mod fashions and 70s interiors, VIVA is an impeccably recreated romp through a lost era of film. If you think this is an ironic smirk-fest, you’d be wrong; director Anna Biller – director, costumer and set designer here – has an instinctive grasp of sexploitation tropes, and while there’s certainly fun to be had with anachronism and now-dated styles, VIVA remains sharp, fun and kinky, at once commenting on the methods and meaning of the sexploitation era while also playing entirely by its rules.
“My eyes were literally popping at Viva, a time-warp back to the days of swingin’ sexploitation films by Radley Metzger, Russ Meyer, Herschell Gordon Lewis, and similarly give-the-horny-people-what-they-want auteurs. […] Bad acting, sleazy dialogue, constant porny background music, incredible outfits and hair, drug-hazed orgies, olive-bedecked finger foods, a nudist colony, a call girl subplot, and musical numbers – Viva has everything you want to see in a movie, rendered in luridly bright Technicolor and filtered through what I can only describe as an XXX-rated scramble of The Brady Bunch. Biller is my new hero. I can’t wait to see what she does next.”
– The San Francisco Bay Guardian
“Viva does for late-’60s/early-’70s sexploitation what Far From Heaven did for Douglas Sirk. Guaranteed to delight erotica fetishists and porn semioticians (if any exist) alike, Anna Biller’s homage re-creates the colors, fashion, lifestyles, Hammond organ solos, and cheesy sex setups of the era. Biller’s re-creation is not only right-on but rigorous; the early shots of suburban Cali in particular are so perfectly framed as to suggest a weird structuralist goof.”
– The Village Voice