Release Date: October, 2001
Directed by: Anna Biller
Written by: Anna Biller
Music by: Anna Biller
Cast: Anna Biller, Jared Sanford, Natalia Schroeder
Anna Biller Productions, 26 Minutes
I didn’t discover Anna Biller until I came across The Love Witch a few years ago. I really liked that movie in regards to its style and overall tone. Since then, I’ve become aware of an earlier film she did called Viva but it’s still in my queue to watch. In the meantime, I saw that this very early short film from her dropped on the Criterion Channel, so I wanted to check it out.
Even though this predates her only other film that I’ve seen, thus far, it’s still damn impressive for a lot of the same things that I adored in The Love Witch.
First off, Biller does a stupendous job in crafting the world she wants her films to live in. Between the costumes, the set design and the use of colors and lighting, her films look otherworldly and like real throwbacks to the motion pictures that have influenced her personal style.
Being that this was a musical horror western, it sort of marries those elements and it does so quite well. At the very least, these are fun films to look at and they are pretty lively.
Now the acting is over the top and somewhat hokey but I’m pretty sure that’s the intent. I wouldn’t call this a comedy or a parody of what it emulates or tries to channel, the acting just works well and feels organic within the overall presentation.
I also really dug the musical numbers. They kept the film energetic and jovial and built towards a good conclusion.
Overall, Anna Biller has several different creative talents. I mean, she really does everything in her films and I think that she does a fantastic job in getting her vision across. While her films might not be everyone’s cup of tea, they’re beautiful and hard to turn away from.
While looking deeper into this in an effort to write this review, I saw that Biller has three other short films that came out before this one. I hope that they are also streaming somewhere in the future.
Pairs well with: other Anna Biller films: Viva and The Love Witch.