Viva (2007)



Critic Consensus: Though it's lengthy and doesn't always walk the line between schlock and kitschy homage successfully, Viva's lovely visuals and knowing humor are undeniable.

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Movie Info

Writer and director Anna Biller takes a swingin' look back at sexploitation cinema of the '70s in this candy-colored comedy drama. Barbi (Anna Biller) is a beautiful but blasé suburban housewife whose handsome mate, Rick (Chad England), is more interested in his career than in quenching his wife's sensual thirsts. When up-and-coming actor Mark (Jared Sanford) and his open-minded wife, Sheila (Bridget Brno), move in next door, Barbi discovers they're more than willing to help her find the thrills she's been missing. Before long, Mark and Sheila part company, and when Rick finds out about Barbi's extramarital dalliances, he walks out on her. Free to do as she pleases, Barbi changes her name to Viva and teams up with Sheila to join the front lines of the sexual revolution, enjoying assignations with a dizzying variety of partners, including hipster artist Clyde (Marcus DeAnda), psychedelic naturalist Elmer (Paolo Davanza), experimental theater advocate Arthur (John Klemantaski), glamorous lesbian model Agnes (Robbin Ryan), and sexually ambiguous hair stylist Sherman (Barry Morse). But will Viva's appetite for the ecstatic lead her into dangerous and unexpected places? Viva received the "Best of Fest" award at the 2007 Boston Underground Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
R (for sexual conent, nudity and some drug use)
Art House & International , Comedy , Drama , Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Anna Biller
as Barbi/Viva
Bridget Brno
as Sheila
Barry Morse
as Sherman
Cole Chipman
as Reeves
Robbin Ryan
as Agnes
Carole Balkan
as Mrs. James
Andrea Lain
as Kelly
Johnny Holiday
as Mr. Carlisle
Veronica Alicino
as Miss Marker
Sam Bologna
as Mr. Humphrey
Mark Wood
as Doctor Collins
Rob Scott
as Doctor
Damon Wellner
as Hippie
Corky Parks
as Sailor/Hot Tub Nudist
Evan Spector
as Sailor
Natasha Paz
as Crystal
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Critic Reviews for Viva

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (15)

Anna Biller's 1970s-styled sexploitation parody Viva may at times come too close to the real thing, but there's a welcome delight in the film's unapologetic and total submersion into cheap thrills.

Full Review… | March 30, 2016
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

The movie wears out its welcome long before it meanders to a close at 121 minutes. But as a kinky costume party it's watchable, if only for the smutty sex scenes and Biller's bold pop-art decor.

Full Review… | March 30, 2016
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

At an epic two hours the stilted dialogue and eye-scorchingly oversaturated film stock threaten to test the patience. But as a self-conscious exercise in kitsch graverobbing, 'Viva' succeeds.

Full Review… | May 14, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

You can't create camp on purpose.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Top Critic

The movie isn't comfortable or wholly successful.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

With its copious nudity and zipless hedonism, Viva, though unduly long, is a crafty reminder of a time when the X rating was flaunted, not feared.

Full Review… | June 20, 2008
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Viva


Satire? Homage? Recreation? VIVA does a remarkable job recreating the look and much of the style of 70s sexploitation movies. At an hour it might have been a fun little homage to the genre. Going on and on for two hours, it creates a rather dystopian story of free love.

Michael Harbour
Michael Harbour

This movie was a major disappointment. Anna Biller tries very hard to live in the world of the 70s. She succeeds tremendously at creating and crafting (literally, I mean most of the sets she made herself) every little detail that is 70s. She does a great job and should be commended for that alone. However, the stilted dialogue, the overlong running time and the tremendously crappy way it's captured makes me want to ACTUALLY pull out a REAL movie from the 70s. This was dull to it's core.

The Vulture
The Vulture

While this attempt to recreate 60s/70s exploitation films does capture the look and feel of those films, it unfortunately captures the attitudes of the misogynist leisure-suit crowd a little too well. Rape in this narrative is not addressed as a serious problem, but instead as a freaky dramatic thing to happen, from which characters seem to bounce back from with no psychological recrimination. And once you find out that the woman who stars in it also WROTE it, the fact that every character who graces the screen (even gay men) makes declarations of her beauty and sexiness makes it little more than annoying, narcissistic wish-fullfillment. It's on a par with a 15 year old girl writing fanfiction in which her "Mary Sue" character wins the love of all her favorite movie actors. I'm so sorry I saw this turkey!

Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz
Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

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