A Stream of Ingenuity: THE INVITATION

Karyn Kusama’s THE INVITATION (2015) is eerily poetic connecting its seductively almost paralyzing ambiance, to what I imagine it feels like to be in a sedated juncture of elevated sorrow. Sorrow being the big bad wolf in this decadent, psychological tale of a couple hosting a dinner party with a small group of close friends they hadn’t seen in two years, all secluded in the Hollywood Hills. Doesn’t it sounds like a Manson-cultish-holy-hell-of-a-dinner-party? This film oozes of subtlety and it’s strangely gratifying. The opening sequence, for instance, has that profound foreshadowing factor with the coyote getting hit by a car. Let’s break that image apart for a second. From an introspective approach, it leaves me with the question: Does one get back up after being critically left wounded or ultimately waste away in their own misery and pain which eventually results in death?

How does one cope with grief? By facing reality, but also enlisting an absurd alternative disguised as some trippy coping mechanism to relieve one’s self of pain. As one of the characters in the film states, “Pain is optional.” Interesting sentiment. Being not afraid, letting go of fear while showing the “I’m all better smile” when in fact there’s something intensely vile and detrimentally disturbing lurking beneath the surface makes for intriguing subject matter. I have a fierce appetite for digging behind the façade of things. This film is the equivalent of me being a kid in a yummy ice cream store.

Eden (Tammy Blanchard) is an overly charming hostess of this dinner party who happens to be the ex-wife of Will (Logan Marshall-Green) who seems to be instinctually aware something is not quite right knowing full well he faces his own demons, which are consequently embedded in his life almost like it has this prisoner of war effect on him. He hasn’t moved on from something horrific but Eden has. We see this displayed on their facial expressions, and sometimes a rush of explicit fashionably tailored flashbacks that sticks to the psychological-thriller formula of “less is more”.

The imagery here, is quite pristine in how it captures certain elements the viewer has to pay attention to specifically when we learn what the invitation means or even wardrobe wise, Eden’s long white dress, totally hints at something along the lines of “purity of the soul” Perhaps, the images aren’t all as it seems but in fact made to make you question what lurks behind such a false truth. This film is not the blatant hand-feed the audience plot line, here. Thank God! Thriller yes, with a side of horror and trust me when you first sit down to watch this you’ll think hmm it’s just a bunch of adults having multiple conversations with awkward feelings thrown into the mix as they copious drink their expensive wine. Just wait for it.

The dialogue builds to something, and even in the actions of David (Michiel Huisman) Eden’s new beau and co dinner-host, who mysteriously locks all the doors, as Will notices the bars on the windows. When questioned, David sly says it’s for protection from all the crazy break-ins that have been occurring in their neighborhood. Okay, fair enough but does Will believe him? Would you believe him?

The Manson-cultish tone certainly has a thin influence to this dinner party, such as when the commentary about expensive wine is discussed, which is enhanced by the close up shots of red wine being poured into their guests’ glasses, and even watching them indulge in it’s decadent aromas is hypnotic. Makes me suspicious and question about accepting wine at dinner parties now. Damn, I really do love a great cabernet.

What brings this story to it’s center aside from it’s distinct imagery, is the provocative way stories are told, inching us closer to something that’s loosely unspoken. These characters Eden, David, Pruitt, and the obscure lady they bring from Mexico gravitate to a specific truth and hold on to it like some life preserve and they want to share that with their close friends. It’s their new hope, their mantra into getting through the hardest, darkest moments of their lives and when someone questions the validity of such a notion things go array in a fierce-some way.

A strong point is how these four characters share their deepest desires, and also dark secrets about their past grievances of guilt, especially Pruitt (John Carroll Lynch) who reveals how he accidentally killed his wife and went to prison for it. What a heavy confession to share at a dinner party! Even as this visceral assertion of locked windows, dark secrets, and the mystery of why one of their dinner guests hasn’t arrived yet builds the tension. There’s so many great hints, built in the actions around these dinner guest, especially when one of the female friend leaves after hearing Pruitt’s story. She’s clearly uncomfortable and we’re never told or see what results from this. Very interesting.

Will is certain something wrong and accuses Eden and David. The entire dinner party looks at him like he’s lost his mind and when Choi (the late dinner guest) finally arrives, Will doubts himself and betrays his instinct momentarily. It’s like having the wind knocked out of your sails, and you just want to collapse into a puddle of despair. Will takes a moment to collect himself and question maybe grief has really screwed him up. It would for anyone buddy, you’re not alone!

But as the tables slowly and painfully turn, Will springs back into that fight or flight mode. The realization hits him, wanting to die for something he had no control over in the past makes no sense and now he has to fight to survive because life is a gift and you’d be a damn fool to throw it away. It’s a deep a-ha moment which is threatened when this party turns into a nightmare you just want to scream bloody murder, running for the woods, praying to God there’s someone in a pick-up truck nearby to rescue you. Oh wait that’s the end of TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE.

It’s down right incredible what Kusama does here because it’s not some cheesy sequence you often see in classic, exploitive, horror films, this is a different shiny breed of a style capsulated with authenticity because if you think about it, something like this can actually occur. Set one person off and things can escalate into a heated argument that morphs into something lethal, and that’s bad alas, as Joan Didion said, “Life changes in the instant. The ordinary instant”. But also humans will be humans

In that final sequence, and I won’t give it away but let’s just say one can scrummage up multiple theories in how to interpret such an ending. It’s slick and clever because one can’t surely be sure of what it represents other than the ultimate chill of terror. Think about cults for a second and the history behind their purpose and what justification they use to prescribe to a higher power. I literally had to watch the ending a couple of times because it caught me off guard because I missed something, but it’s absolutely mesmerizing on a grand scale because it’s so freaking subtle. And if there’s one thing I enjoy about films it’s how they disguise and utilize such a subtlety. I don’t want to say much because you have to experience and watch it for yourself, so until then I’m going to awkwardly dance around the subject. And for the record, I’m still scratching my head on what happens to one of the characters, even as I rewound and replayed certain scenes, I’m still left wondering and questioning!

I admire and respect this film as it psychologically messed with my head in all it’s atmospheric power making me question and assume I knew what these characters were going to do, when in fact I was deeply mistaken. Even the lighting of this film gave it an intimate feel which borders on the line of menacing but also something weirdly seductive, as if we’re being lured into this hypnotic trance. I have to say even the brilliance behind the sound design to bring those snippets of flashbacks to life, or how the camera pushes through the dinner table as the presence of time slows down considerably was beautifully captured and how suspense was built cerebrally makes this film surpass an M Night Shyamalan film. Experience this film in all it’s grand subtlety awesomeness. Show it at your next dinner party, I dare you!

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"Love Me"- THE LOVE WITCH

Anna Biller’s THE LOVE WITCH is magnetic for a multitude of reasons whether it resides in its themes of feminism, fantasy, witchcraft and the pursuit of love, or perhaps it’s strength in color schemes, melodramatic dialogue, and some swanky, groovy music. The mise en scène is of the grandest kind as it’s impressiveness shines in the arena of independent filmmaking, almost like it’s the discovery of some rare fossil. This is a genuinely, handcrafted film just like every stitch you hand sew on a quilt that takes copious amounts of concentration, time, and skill. I mean every crevice of this film is decadent even in the faint pink piece of cake Elaine (Samantha Robinson) feistily takes a bite of as she’s talking with Trish (Laura Waddell) in her apartment. The details are mesmerizing and perhaps it’s in those fine details, Biller casts a majestic spell over her audience or maybe it’s Samantha Robinson’s consistent, very distinguished giggle which totally started impersonating the moment I heard. What? It’s fun!

Biller’s vision electrifies the screen with her crafted props, melodramatic lighting, radiant color scheme, and badass choice in stylistic, vintage, oh-my-god wardrobe. For a brief moment, and (I mean brief) I was totally reminded of Mario Bava’s 1964 horror-thriller film BLOOD AND BLACK LACE and there’s a great deal of glorious color and magical lighting that makes it ooze with wonderment. Not so much the onslaught of continuously slaying of women, it’s quite the opposite in that regard because in the LOVE WITCH it’s a discourse, a celebration on femininity, sensuality, and the ability to coexist in a world where men’s definition of women has constricted them et cetera, et cetera. The film is a picnic of fun with it’s simple yet complex narrative that virtually anyone with a beating heart could admire. Elaine’s notion about love derives from her failed marriage and death of her husband which spurs her into witchcraft as some kind life preserve (metaphorically speaking). Her quest to find love and the real kicker here is how it’s presented. She dolls herself up playing the role of every man’s fantasy, a sex object, catering to their needs, while hoping to capture her dream fairytale of finding prince charming and living happily ever after. I mean it’s every woman’s dream right? As she says to Trish who also takes note of Elaine’s charm and beauty but questions her rationality. Brainwashed by the patriarchy? Sure. But, Elaine’s definition of love is slightly skewed which makes me assume something has happened to this character to shape such a definition.

In this case, the pursuit of love seems somewhat like a fabricated veneer in order for Elaine to attain some form of revenge, and obtain ultimate power over her male libertines by hypnotizing them with her beautiful eyes or having them drink a potion of vodka, organic berries, and hallucinogenic herbs. However, it doesn’t quite seal the deal with any of them. In a way it’s like an analogy for all those Cosmo magazines a woman reads in hoping to keep the attention of their secret crush. Elaine’s doing the same thing but with sex magic, and love potions. This makes me question is it all an ulterior motive? Is it really about love or is about power? What does one prescribe to love or power or do they go hand in hand? Regardless, it’s amusing to ponder, there could multiple takes on this and I admire that greatly.

Then there’s the foreshadowing of the infamous tarot card with the heart and three swords (forgive me ignorance, I don’t know the official name for it) that’s shown throughout the film. The viewer learns she’s had mishaps in love with her husband Jerry, who apparently dies which is loosely shown in a flashback. As Elaine states she might be addicted to love and in pursuing her male interests they too submit to all the messy, confusing, inconvenient, feelings notions of love. Unfortunately, it’s too much for them, and these men literally die from feeling the impact and effects of it. Interesting. Men physically die from love while Elaine (emotionally) dies from being in love. She even states this while in the Victorian tea room with Trish, “the day Jerry left me was the day I DIED.”

Another interesting point is how the men feel about love, when we hear Wayne, (Jeffrey Vincent Parise) the literature professor (who after drinking the love potion) explains his thoughts about not needing anyone or Richard (Trish’s husband) desiring a love affair. Or better yet, Griff, (Gian Keys) the detective, Elaine deems as “the one” and his thoughts that a woman can never measure up to a man’s ideal.

In the sequence where Elaine turns to witchcraft which is simultaneously shown in flashbacks but what’s strange here is this abysmal look of vulnerability on her face when the Wiccans perform their ritual. Sex magic? It looks downright uncomfortable and you can see the fear in her eyes. Like what the hell did I just sign up for!? I mean, if you were on an alter, practically naked, surrounded by naked people, with a chalice full of wine (or maybe blood?) hovering over you while a dagger somewhat pierces through it, all while chanting you have the “perfect trust and perfect love” would you second guess yourself? Each to their own.

This leads me to a fairly prominent scene which isn’t so simple to address because on the surface Elaine is being sensual with herself while all these intrusive thoughts swirl around inside her mind and we hear it through numerous voice overs. There’s this look on her face as if she’s revisiting every ugly scar she’s ever endured from men. It’s shaped her to not necessarily take pleasure by her own touch but to be reminded she’s not good enough. It’s a challenging scene to watch because any woman who bares these kind of scars endures that uphill battle, emotionally. Think about it, we live in a world, where every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted according to RAINN. Personally, it’s heartbreaking and strikes a pretty intense nerve within me. Rape, sexual assault, abuse, are all tremendously ugly subjects and finding a way to allude to it can be tricky, however, direction wise, Biller does a genuinely unique job with the subject matter at least that’s what I got from it. This gives the audience a bigger glimpse into Elaine’s past without relying on some foggy flashback, the voiceover alone was perfect and set established that tone fairly firmly.

Okay, I’m probably being way too philosophical yet again, what can I say it’s my style digging deep. ANYWAYS, what makes this cult classic so appealing is it’s aesthetic because there’s always something appeasing with vibrant, playful, eye-popping color whether it be the pink ensemble such as that magnificent hat Elaine is wearing in the tea room or how Trish attempts to impersonate Elaine wearing her witchy long-haired wig along with the blue eye shadow and pink lingerie there’s something iconic about these images, something familiar, a hint of something like that of a classic Hollywood melodramatic woman’s film way back in yester-year but Biller gives it a fresh, inexplainable feeling, I can’t quite put my finger on it. Even the lighting has that magically stage essence about it. How much of the back lighting highlights the actor’s hair, giving it a brisk angelic glow, which usually I would find super cheesy but in this case it just appears so damn cool! These subtleties are magic, plain and simple, movie magic.

When I first heard about THE LOVE WITCH I had seen the image of Elaine holding a bloody dagger and thought oh a horror film, hmmm colorful horror film, maybe like THE SHINING or SUSPIRIA? But when I first watched it, there was very little horror to it, not in a grotesque way whatsoever, it became more of a melodramatic thriller with a flair for the iconic retro-stylized sentiment of the 60s but oozing with femininity and sensuality which is a far cry from the exploitation genre which I often hear people compare it to. Odd, I didn’t see it that way at all.

This was indeed, a different breed of film which plays around with some really fun set designs, the acting, but also defining what era we were in, I absolutely loved that I wasn’t entirely sure if this was present day or some period in the 1960s. Anyone who has nostalgia for 60s/70s films and goes googly-eye’d for Technicolor will appreciate this marvel of celluloid delight. It’s genuinely one of a kind and it’s a film you can’t quantifiably compare to today’s mega-superhero-CGI-love-fest of a blockbuster. No, No, No, personally as a woman maybe even as a man the viewer can relate to Elaine, because love is universal, love is the key to must things, and love will make you go crazy nonetheless, this film does a tremendous job in capturing one’s attention. One thing I admire is how this film presents such an open discussion for sex politics because it has and will probably always will be a long standing discussion. If you haven’t seen THE LOVE WITCH, I guarantee you will be placed under its captivating spell and will probably watch it half a dozen times. I’m looking forward to seeing what Anna Biller creates next!

Strange & Beautiful: SWISS ARMY MAN

One cannot deny the hilarity in the opening sequence of SWISS ARMY MAN and those of you who have seen it know what I’m talking about that is of course if you have that kind of sense of humor. Being this film was distributed by A24 it makes sense because in a similar vein of obscure hilarity they also distributed THE LOBSTER which was an awesome film!

Aside from the slapstick gassy gimmicks there’s something strangely familiar about what the filmmakers did with this narrative that made me time travel back to the days of childhood which was all about play time, make believe, and fantasy. I remember the days on the playground with other friends that we were also stranded on a deserted island and we found absurd ways to survive. SWISS ARMY MAN (directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, the Daniels) is precisely that, not meant to make you roll your eyes and say this movie makes me feel weird. I urge you to adjust your thoughts and look at it through the eyes of someone with an imagination. And maybe that’s what happens when you grow up, the façade of Santa Claus, the Boogie Man, and simple toys that occupied your time slowly faded away into indifference. After all, often times kids are told to “grow up”. Although I think most of us are children at heart, missing and yearning for those simple days again where you could prance along without a care in the world. Okay getting too philosophical.

Anyways, there is this funny homage to JURASSIC PARK which I totally love. For instance, when both Hank and Manny hum the iconic song together (to the part where the dinosaurs make their big appearance onscreen). It’s kind of that a-ha moment when Manny starts to understand and remember what being on a bus means in a beautiful sequence that kind of hints at Hank’s life prior to being isolated on an island.

In all seriousness now, one of the central themes to this dark comedy resides in Hank (Paul Dano) who’s marooned on a little island somewhere in the Pacific who no longer has the will to keep living until a decomposing, farting corpse Manny, (Daniel Radcliffe) is washed up ashore. Suddenly, there’s this curiosity to live but to Hank’s surprise he’s just a corpse with unusual bodily powers that give Hank the urge to live. From first glance it does feel like he’s hallucinating or the whole occurrence is some wildly bizarre dream. Nope. The narrative thrives down a spirally path where a man befriends a corpse which kind of makes that tagline “There’s no place like home” from the WIZARD OF OZ ring a strange bell in terms of defining what that home is to himself. What’s the point of living if all we’re doing is buying time distracting ourselves from the inevitable? As this narrative continues we learn towards the end ( I’ll try not to give it away) is gut wrenching, almost like getting punched in the heart, but nevertheless, Hank’s character learns something about himself and I can understand how the audience may feel let down. It’s a well written ending, is all I have to say.

Aside from the ending, some of my favorite sequences are oddly enough the musical numbers that ensues especially the song about popcorn when Hanks discovers Manny’s ability to create fire. They have a party with vodka, a bonfire, popcorn, and what better than a silhouette puppet show of popular films from E.T. to SUPERMAN? It’s hysterically entertaining and singing about popcorn well it’s the simplicity of humming that brings joy to these two lost souls. Sometimes when life gets you down, you sing, dance, write, and create art with every fiber of your being because that’s what human beings do aside from pursuing love and friendship. It’s like these two are each other’s band aid until suddenly the conflict of both of them obsessed over the same girl gives the story that extra flair. But isn’t that life? Conflict keeps life interesting.

Another defining aspect of this film is intricate set design, made from garbage and recyclables which definitely gives the film a distinct style but ultimately makes sense given the situation our characters are in. Talk about taking a refurbishing to a whole different level. It’s so crafty!

Ultimately, I’m surprisingly amazed this film was made and its originality is what makes it shine and unique take on exploring the human soul in all it’s loneliness and confusion. It’s not necessarily deemed a feel good movie, but ironically made me feel good with laughter and shake my head with partial shame but that’s the beauty of having a simple film with complex overtones dealing with tough subjects, such as suicide, depression, loneliness, and finding a way to work through it. As odd and outlandish as the plot is I couldn’t help but hum along with the catchy, silly songs, and watching Paul Dano wear a makeshift dress out of garbage and play the part of Sarah was quite amusing but mainly because as an actor he knows how to play awkward characters with great finesse. I’m always intrigued by the characters he plays and well Daniel Radcliffe playing the role of a corpse is just pure gold. I can only imagine the challenges of not laughing throughout the entirety of the film while pretending to be a corpse.

While this appears to be geared more towards a guy’s feel good buddy film with the fart jokes and hilarity behind our body parts, there’s something charming about the Hank’s ability to rediscover his humanity through Manny who’s trying to comprehend it. I recommend this film, just check your maturity at the door but you may also realize it could reconnect you with your humanity.

Hilarity and Wit: LOVE & ANARCHY

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I had my first Cinefamily experience last week. I had the pleasurable chance seeing my first Lina Wertmüller film, LOVE & ANARCHY and it was unique sitting among other cinephiles. It’s one of the great experiences of sitting among an audience listening to them laugh collectively at such gut wrenching hilarity whether it be a facial expression, gesture, or some clever line of dialogue was total bliss and one of my favorite parts of going to the movies is seeing the reaction of audiences. This is usually the prime reason I sit in the back row of theaters, taking in the scene. Laughter rocked the night.
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Sometimes I wonder if society has forgotten the power behind how relieving laughter can be for one’s soul. We live in such a dire, political correct era you have to wonder where the hell did everyone’s sense of humor go? These days anyone is offended by the most minute thing and I personally can’t help but laugh at the humor behind such an offense. Listen people we’re all fallible human beings, it’s not the end of the world if someone does or says something that’s often misconstrued. Whether you take it as a joke or not, dust off whatever it was offended you and move on or JUST ignore it. I know easier said than done. Okay enough of that, let me step off my soapbox and move forward.
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LOVE & ANARCHY (1973) is a combination of two perfectly imperfect constructs juxtaposed together telling the story of a young revolutionary “Tunin” (Giancarlo Giannini) meets a strong-willed prostitute “Salome” (Mariangela Melato) in a brothel and the two conspire together a mission to assassinate Mussolini. It’s an exciting plot and how Wertmüller extends the precious moments of Tunin and Tripolina’s love and time together. She really lingers on this portion of the narrative for interesting reasons, aside from the inevitable death that lingers in the shadows. There’s life, there’s humor, there’s sex, and there’s shouting. For instance, Salome keeps Tunin safe having him pose as her cousin and in a way condemns the girls from keeping their hands of him. However, Tunin falls for Tripolina, one of the prostitutes which complicates things, distracting him from falling through on his plot to kill. In a very empathetic scene one of the girls is singing a very compelling song and the usage of facial expressions exchanged between Triolina and Tunin steals the scene. It’s amazing what eyes can communicate as there’s this hilarious tango between seduction and uncertainty between the pair’s facial expressions. Dialogue is unnecessary here. There is power in the eyes.
Tunin enjoys his time with Tripolina, Wertmüller lingers on these moments as their spending a day together throughout Rome. It’s endearing, and somewhat romantic despite what’s to be their fate but also gives us a taste of an Italian romance.
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There’s also an incredible color pallet, often times when I’m watching a film it’s one of the first things I look for. I had a conversation with a friend one time about how we see color and often times it’s the first things we use to describe something. We see in color, we describe in color, and there is power behind color. Sounds crazy? But makes odd sense.
I read somewhere that Lina Wertmuller worked as an assistant director for Federico Fellini on 8 ½ and what’s beautiful and strange about her sense of style is how it standouts. It confronts darkish themes head on with satire, and exploitation utilizing the balance of comedy and drama. It works because life isn’t all rainbows and smiles there’s always a dark side which I absolutely love. (I have this thing about balance.) Her style maybe contrived as absurd but she paints a breathtaking view of humanity’s distinguished flaws.
There are these interesting moments throughout the film where we see all the prostitutes having lunch together and it is so vibrantly energetic with color and the fast talking dialogue. It’s harmonious in many ways but also left me with a brief headache trying to keep up with all zaniness occurring. But I absolutely adore these particular shots where we have groups of people whether it be when the brothel opens up shop and the women are all tramping about revealing what they have to offer to the variety of men that gaze upon them.
Lina Wertmüller has a peculiar yet spot on sense of pain and humor which is something I personally relate to and am over the moon I just now discovered her existence. LOVE & ANARCHY has a ton of energy that electrifies the screen with a brooding soul full of love, frustration, and a willful determination to achieve glory.

Hilarity and Wit: LOVE & ANARCHY

I had my first Cinefamily experience last week. I had the pleasurable chance seeing my first Lina Wertmüller film, LOVE & ANARCHY and it was unique sitting among other cinephiles. It’s one of the great experiences of sitting among an audience listening to them laugh collectively at such gut wrenching hilarity whether it be a facial expression, gesture, or some clever line of dialogue was total bliss and one of my favorite parts of going to the movies is seeing the reaction of audiences. This is usually the prime reason I sit in the back row of theaters, taking in the scene. Laughter rocked the night.

Sometimes I wonder if society has forgotten the power behind how relieving laughter can be for one’s soul. We live in such a dire, political correct era you have to wonder where the hell did everyone’s sense of humor go? These days anyone is offended by the most minute thing and I personally can’t help but laugh at the humor behind such an offense. Listen people we’re all fallible human beings, it’s not the end of the world if someone does or says something that’s often misconstrued. Whether you take it as a joke or not, dust off whatever it was offended you and move on or JUST ignore it. I know easier said than done. Okay enough of that, let me step off my soapbox and move forward.

LOVE & ANARCHY (1973) is a combination of two perfectly imperfect constructs juxtaposed together telling the story of a young revolutionary “Tunin” (Giancarlo Giannini) meets a strong-willed prostitute “Salome” (Mariangela Melato) in a brothel and the two conspire together a mission to assassinate Mussolini. It’s an exciting plot and how Wertmüller extends the precious moments of Tunin and Tripolina’s love and time together. She really lingers on this portion of the narrative for interesting reasons, aside from the inevitable death that lingers in the shadows. There’s life, there’s humor, there’s sex, and there’s shouting. For instance, Salome keeps Tunin safe having him pose as her cousin and in a way condemns the girls from keeping their hands of him. However, Tunin falls for Tripolina, one of the prostitutes which complicates things, distracting him from falling through on his plot to kill. In a very empathetic scene one of the girls is singing a very compelling song and the usage of facial expressions exchanged between Triolina and Tunin steals the scene. It’s amazing what eyes can communicate as there’s this hilarious tango between seduction and uncertainty between the pair’s facial expressions. Dialogue is unnecessary here. There is power in the eyes.

Tunin enjoys his time with Tripolina, Wertmüller lingers on these moments as their spending a day together throughout Rome. It’s endearing, and somewhat romantic despite what’s to be their fate but also gives us a taste of an Italian romance.

There’s also an incredible color pallet, often times when I’m watching a film it’s one of the first things I look for. I had a conversation with a friend one time about how we see color and often times it’s the first things we use to describe something. We see in color, we describe in color, and there is power behind color. Sounds crazy? But makes odd sense.

I read somewhere that Lina Wertmuller worked as an assistant director for Federico Fellini on 8 ½ and what’s beautiful and strange about her sense of style is how it standouts. It confronts darkish themes head on with satire, and exploitation utilizing the balance of comedy and drama. It works because life isn’t all rainbows and smiles there’s always a dark side which I absolutely love. (I have this thing about balance.) Her style maybe contrived as absurd but she paints a breathtaking view of humanity’s distinguished flaws.

There are these interesting moments throughout the film where we see all the prostitutes having lunch together and it is so vibrantly energetic with color and the fast talking dialogue. It’s harmonious in many ways but also left me with a brief headache trying to keep up with all zaniness occurring. But I absolutely adore these particular shots where we have groups of people whether it be when the brothel opens up shop and the women are all tramping about revealing what they have to offer to the variety of men that gaze upon them.

Lina Wertmüller has a peculiar yet spot on sense of pain and humor which is something I personally relate to and am over the moon I just now discovered her existence. LOVE & ANARCHY has a ton of energy that electrifies the screen with a brooding soul full of love, frustration, and a willful determination to achieve glory.