The Love Witch Casts a Spell

Love can be magical. It can also be horrific. For The Love Witchs protagonist, Elaine, it manages to be a little bit of both.

The Love Witch is a horror-thriller written and directed by Anna Biller. Much like Biller’s previous feature Viva, The Love Witch pays homage to films of the sixties and seventies by embracing its campiness with open arms. With the help of lighting tricks, elaborate set/costume design, and the decision to cut from its original camer

Photo by Anna Biller Productions

a negative, The Love Witch succeeds in replicating the aesthetics of classic technicolor films.

However, The Love Witch’s cinematography isn’t the only thing that makes the film interesting. Underneath the retro glamor lies a story chock full of social awareness. The Love Witch may utilize common tropes, but what it brings to the table is feminist commentary, which might just be what cinema needs in this current political climate.

The Plot

The Love Witch follows a young witch named Elaine on a journey to start over after the death of her husband Jerry. After making her way to Arcata, California, Elaine takes shelter in a home owned by her mentor, Barbara. While staying in Barbara’s home, Elaine meets Trish, an interior designer that happens to be in charge of the house’s upkeep.

Shortly after their initial meeting, Elaine and Trish discuss their views towards relationship dynamics over tea. It becomes clear to Trish (and the film’s viewers) that Elaine’s view of her role as a woman is relatively patriarchal. Elaine is

Photo by Anna Biller Productions

eager to find the love of her life, and believes that the best way to accomplish this is to give a man everything he wants, especially in regards to sex. Trish attempts to tell Elaine that there are other ways to find love, but Elaine persists and heads out to find the man of her dreams.

After her meeting with Trish, Elaine meets a college professor named Wayne. Determined to charm him, Elaine convinces Wayne to take her to his cabin. Once there, Elaine uses love magic in hopes that it will make the encounter worthwhile. Unfortunately for Elaine, this ends in disaster, as Wayne falls so deeply in love with her that he dies the following morning.

This seems to be a consistent occurrence for Elaine throughout the movie, as she encounters two other men and faces similar consequences. The Love Witch shows how Elaine’s approach to love is incredibly destructive, while putting major emphasis on Elaine’s transformation from hopeless romantic to femme fatale.

RELATED LINK: For another take on relationship dynamics, read “Be Our Guests! 

The Execution

Photo by Anna Biller Productions

Biller manages to tell a story about gender and female sexuality in a way that feels fresh and exciting. The Love Witch pokes fun at the same films it’s trying to replicate in appearance by pointing out the absurdity of how these films often represented relationships and women.

The character of Elaine is particularly fascinating because her entire essence seems to tear down the idea of what it means to be a manic pixie dream girl. The men that fall in love with Elaine admire her because she’s “unlike” any of the other women that they had met before. They see her as the personification of perfection, which is comical considering that each of them meet their demise during their encounters with her.

What makes Elaine a standout in the film is that she feels like a changed character by the time the story comes to an end. She starts the film as someone that is lacking agency, and ultimately, she’s able to find that agency, even if the results are a bit gruesome.


Beyond Hashtags

Screen Shot 2017-04-13 at 8.38.01 AM

I created a Storify for my live tweeting experience during Wagatwe Wanjuki’s Beyond Hashtags: Using New Media to Combat Campus Rape Culture workshop. Click the link above if you’re interested!

/Film Manages to Slash Its Competition

Blog name or title: /Film

Blog Author (If one author): Multiple Authors

Brief description:

/Film is a blog dedicated to keeping its readers updated on the latest happenings in the film industry. With multiple contributors posting content on a daily basis, /Film keep202977a90925dac81c1313fc4c684f0c.pngs its readers informed by posting casting news, trailers, reviews, and more. 

Why I like this blog (include why you chose it, what about the blog matches up with your own interests or pursuits):

I chose /Film for this review because I found the blog’s history to be interesting. It was founded in 2005 and started as a relatively small blog. Flash forward about twelve years, and it’s made quite a name for itself. 

enjoy the writing style that /Film’s frequent contributors present. Posts manage to feel somewhat personal and less robotic than a lot of other film blogs out there. That being said, I think the website’s layout feels a bit outdated. I think an upgraded look could help bring in a new audience, though I’m not entirely sure /Film really needs a new audience to begin with. They’ve found their voice, and I think that’s important to acknowledge.

The Film Experience Provides Frequency and Familiarity

Blog name or title: The Film Experience

Blog Author (If one author): Multiple Authors, with Nathaniel Rogers as the blog’s founder and primary contributor.

Brief description:

The Film Experience provides its readers with frequent reviews, commentary on upcoming projects, and praise for some of the film industry’s biggest stars. 3.png

Why I like this blog (include why you chose it, what about the blog matches up with your own interests or pursuits):

I’m obnoxiously passionate about the state of the film industry, so it seemed natural for me to choose a blog that’s primary focus is the film industry for this review.

What I enjoy about The Film Experience is that it has a variety of contributors that each have their own individual writing styles. They make it easy to follow certain writers, and even include their contact information in the blog’s “About” section. Each contributor seems to have their own set of interests that pertain to the industry, so it’s interesting to read a pretty wide variety of opinions, especially during Award Season. 

I also enjoy how often the blog’s contributors post. It never feels like there’s a lack of content being posted on The Film Experience, and I think the frequency of posts played a big part in them finding an audience. 

A Brief History of Tonya Harding

Out of every “celebrity feud” that’s hit the media over the years, I’ve always found the story of Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan to be the most exciting. Perhaps that’s a bit morbid, considering that Kerrigan got her leg clubbed as a result of the feud, but you can’t deny that Harding’s fall from grace was fascinating to watch. She went from a historic figure in skating to a national disgrace, all in the span of three years. Let’s take a look at a brief outline of Harding’s rise and fall.

Continue reading “A Brief History of Tonya Harding”

To My Fellow Phonies

To my fellow phonies,

You are in good company!

I’ve been doing a lot of reflection in terms of my career path lately. This semester has been much more “involved” than the first year of my post-secondary education, and as a result of that, I’ve been carrying quite a few feelings of self-doubt.

Maya Angelou, a commonly quoted figure in discussions about “imposter’s syndrome.” 

I can’t seem to shake this feeling that I don’t belong in my field of interest. The amount of times I’ve considered changing my major or straight up dropping out of college all together recently has been sad, and the saddest part about these considerations is that it’s not as if they’re coming from a lack of interest. I have a desire to learn and typically enjoy the classes that I take, and yet, here I am constantly questioning whether or not college and I are a compatible match.

I think a big part of it might be because I’m pursuing an arts related degree. I’m majored in film and video production, which means I’m interacting with creative minds on a daily basis. Many of my peers have been doing this since their hands were big enough to hold a camera. Combine that with the fact that most of the material has been entirely new territory for me, and you’ll have me consistently comparing myself to others and making myself feel bad in the process.

The best way I can describe the way I feel is…fraudulent. When I see talent in others, I suddenly lose any potential I have as an individual. I become afraid that others are going to see me as mediocre. I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m feeling jealous or envious of my peers, but rather I feel intense feelings of admiration for them and frustration towards myself for not meeting my standards.

Logically, I know these feelings are somewhat irrational. It seems a bit silly to be comparing myself to more experienced classmates when the whole point of school is to learn what I don’t already know. My education and somebody else’s education are entirely separate entities, so why am I continuously struggling to make that separation?

I decided to do a bit of research about why I might be having these feelings. I wanted to know if these feelings were normal or if it was genuinely time for me to consider a change in career paths. To my surprise, I was able to find quite a few people online that felt the same way that I often do. After a bit of Googling, I was able to finally put a name to what I was feeling: imposter’s syndrome.

Continue reading “To My Fellow Phonies”

Website Analysis & Content Online: Part II

The piece I’d like to write for this assignment is one that discusses that feeling of feeling like a fraud when you’re new to a field. I would say this is a pretty relevant topic for people my age, because a majority of us are still trying to figure out where we belong in the work force, and even what we’re good at in general. This is a very basic outline I have going, and I intend on expanding over the next few days

  • Why might people feel this way
    •  Feeling threatened vs. empowered by peers
    • Insecurities of skill level and fear of the road ahead
  • How to free one’s self of the feeling
    •  Attempting to focus on one’s self rather than others
    • Accepting that people learn at different paces

Website Analysis and Content Outline:

Medium describes itself as “a place where everyone has a story to share and the best ones are delivered right to you.” It’s a website that covers a variety of topics and gives power to its users by allowing them to choose what kind of content they follow, making it the perfect hub for writers and readers alike.

Continue reading “Website Analysis and Content Outline:”

Progress Report #3: February 19th-February 26th

Midterm week is quickly approaching, and I’ll be honest, I’m not feeling that great going into it! While I’m feeling comfortable in most of my classes, I can feel my workload increasing. The project phase of the semester has begun, and I can tell I have a long road ahead of me during these next two months.

However, I’m excited for what’s to come in this Digital Writing class. We have a board game assignment coming up, and a few different articles that it looks like we’ll be writing over the course of the semester. Normally, I’d start to feel a bit nervous at the fact that a writing class is about to get more writing intensive, but I’m actually pretty excited. From what I can tell, this isn’t your average writing class. The fact that we’re not just writing a bunch of research papers has me feeling motivated, because I genuinely enjoy writing when I’m given a bit of creative freedom. I already have a few ideas in mind in terms of what I’m thinking of writing about, and I’m hoping that I can come up with some quality work over the next few weeks.

Headlines & Titles

Headline #1: Acworth Man Turns Self in After Failed Burglary

Headline #2: Gazebo Park Resident Attempts Burglary Spree

Headline #3: Acworth Man Faces Post-Mugging Guilt: Motel 6 Burglar Turns Self in After Failed Robbery Attempt

ACWORTH, Ga. – An Acworth man turned himself in to police Sunday night after robbing a Motel Six here and later attempting to mug a second victim on North Main Street.

Howard E. Smithton, 54, a resident of the Gazebo Park apartments on Old Cowan Street in Acworth, entered the Motel Six, also on Cowan, at 8:50 p.m. Sunday night and demanded money.

The clerk on duty, who said he knew Smithton, withheld his name for fear of his safety. He said he refused to give Smithton any money. A struggle ensued. Smithton overpowered the clerk, forced him to open the cash register and left with an undisclosed amount of cash, according to the clerk. Smithton then attempted a second burglary approximately one hour later on the 4800 block of North Main.

Smithton demanded that the victim, 59-year-old Bob Wilson, a member of Acworth’s board of aldermen, give Smithton his wallet. Wilson said he refused and began beating Smithton over the head with a walking stick, which chased Smithton away.

Smithton later turned himself in at Acworth police headquarters on Industrial Drive at approximately 10:30 p.m. He is being held on a $10,000 bond at the Acworth City Jail, according to Michael Rose, Acworth’s sheriff.

The money from the Motel 6 has been returned, Rose said.