review: bluebeard’s castle, anna biller
+ some thoughts on what it means to have no sense of humor
Bluebeard’s Castle (Anna Biller, 2023)
Anna Biller is best known for her 2016 movie The Love Witch (pictured above), which is one of those movies I sort of hate but have also rewatched multiple times. It is beautiful and lush and the performances are great. But it is also totally humorless.1 This is a movie in which a woman uses her tampon as a teabag; you read that sentence and you think, “surely it’s a little funny.” It is not.2
Notebook is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
But at the same time, there’s something about the movie—and Biller herself—that I appreciate and respect. She obviously an artist with a strong sensibility of her own and a strong, idiosyncratic angle that she brings to her material. So I was looking forward to the Bluebeard movie she had been working on for the past few years because—for some reason this has never come up here but it is none…