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Viva Review

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Barbi, a young 70s housewife abandoned by her husband is lured into a world of unfamiliar sexual freedom by a friend.

★★★★

“I’ve always wanted to be a prostitute — it sounds so romantic...” Shot in blaring IronyVision, Anna Biller’s vivid sexploitation pastiche homages the pussycats-and-polyester tack of Russ Meyer-era titillation with sweetly cranky accuracy. Biller herself stars as housewife Barbie, who flees from her nylon-haired hubbie, reinvents herself as call girl Viva and lunges into a softcore odyssey of sexual liberation.

The plywood acting’s pretty funny, as is the coy sex; what amazes is the beautifully lurid, near-fetishistic set design. At two hours, it’s an in-joke over-indulged, and it’s so camp the camera’s practically winking, but minor cultdom beckons.

Endearing homage to the sexploitation era's innocently titillating romps.

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