Director Anna Biller is a study in contrast. Her films radiate with the Technicolor glamour of old studio films while tackling seriously modern issues — primarily what it means to be a woman in Western culture. She’s also the rare woman among a terrifying group of men — i.e., horror filmmakers, most of whom are male.
Her latest film, The Love Witch, is about a woman named Elaine who attempts to escape an abusive past by re-creating herself as the living embodiment of male fantasy. Embracing witchcraft to find control in her life, Elaine would “rather see a man dead than to see him alive and not loving her.” MEL Radio recently spoke to Biller about her own experiences practicing witchcraft, why the male gaze is misunderstood and her belief that the worst kind of man is the one who puts duty and honor above love. An edited transcript of the interview is below.