Vibe of the Month – May: The Love Witch (2016)

For over half a year, I’ve been posing what my “vibe of the month” is on Instagram and Twiiter.

I started last August, when I was really excited for the Father John Misty concert I went to the following month. I was just really feeling his music and re-watched the music video he appeared in for Lana Del Rey’s song “Freak” from Honeymoon. I was really feeling the whole vibe, hence the whole vibe of the month thing.

It’s fun and (not to brag) I’ve seen some extra Instagram likes for some of them. But for the most part I’ve been posting them without context. And since I live for social media likes, acceptance and talking about all the things I like, I decided to start giving each monthly vibe its own blog post.

For May, I decided that my vibe for the month is very much The Love Witch.

I saw a screening of this film at my forever haunt, The Royal, in January 2017 and it’s been burned into my brain ever since. I went into the screening assuming that it was going to be a campy horror movie, but it was so much more than I expected. What I thought was going to be a genre film was a very sharp look at gender roles and sexual politics in relationships – how exploitative men can be towards women and how they’re not always capable of, in modern times at least, being a nurturing, supportive, understanding partner on the same level that women are expected to be and often are.

In the film, all of Elaine’s boyfriends are besotted by her upon meeting, but don’t take the time to understand her passions. They’re all looking for something in Elaine but are unwilling to accept that she needs them to fulfill a need in her. When Griff turns on her, Elaine gets her revenge by killing him for not loving her the right way.

For over a year, there’s been a steady stream of stories coming out about the harassment and abuse women have experienced from men, especially men in positions of power. A horrific acts of violence against continue to make the news, the coverage has also brought MRA groups and their misogynistic views on women to light. Their mentality is starting to be covered and discussed on a scale that I haven’t seen before.

At this critical moment in time when the inequality between men and women is being challenged on such a public scale, I can’t help but think about a film like The Love Witch, and specifically the character Elaine. For too long, women have been perceived as sexual objects that exist solely for men’s pleasure. But now the push back is happening and it’s fiercer than ever. As a collective, we’re starting to see how our preconceived patriarchal expectations of gender and relationships have harmed and continue to harm women. In a very broad, general sense, it’s not unlike Elaine pushing back against the men who disappoint and hurt her.

Also, on a less introspective and far more superficial note, the fashion in The Love Witch is next level. The bright pink, yellow and blue tones, blooming flowers and lace that Elaine wears is what makes her character such a perfect vibe for a month that represents spring.

Taurus and Gemini energies are present in May. Is there any other character that embodies the dual nature of Gemini and the sensual, materialistic traits of Taurus more than Elaine? Well, probably. But not to me.

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ashleymaniw

Freelance writer and screenwriter based in Toronto. Some of my favourite things include film, astrology, Lana Del Rey, David Lynch, and existentialism.