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Viva (Unrated Version) [DVD] [2007] [US Import] [2008] [Region 1] [NTSC]

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001LIK8JI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 219,267 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Just watched Viva, and I absolutely loved every minute of it! It's amazing how authentic it is to the time and genre it's paying homage to. The first thing that struck me was the vivid colours - just like watching a film actually made in the 60s. The acting is a brilliant display of how it was done in exploitation films: simple and a bit stiff with the appropriate cheekiness. The visuals in this film are stunning from beginning to end. Anna Biller is perfect as Barbi/Viva with a look that reminds me of Tura Satana! This is a must for exploitation fans. Just make sure you buy the 120-minute uncut version, not the 102-minute R-rated version.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It is really well done, & feels like one of those movies but also like valley of the dolls too. You have to enter into the spirit of the thing you can't just say it's bad when that is intentional. The period details are amazing.
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Format: DVD
If you're a fan of sexploitation films from the 1960's, Viva is perfect for you! A throwback to these films in a similar way to Death Proof/Planet Terror, Hobo With A Shotgun and Black Dynamite but with a strong focus on the cheeky sex films of the time.

If you're a fan of films from directors such as Russ Meyer (particularly SuperVixens), sexploitation and throwback movies then you should definetly check this one out. It recieved some fantastic reviews from critics upon it's release and I totally agree with it. A great fun film that pays homage to the rather cheeky films of the 60s.
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Hilarious take on 70s porn. Really excellent recreation.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x94e975c0) out of 5 stars 12 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94d4b5d0) out of 5 stars Sex and the 70's housewife 27 Jan. 2009
By Zack Davisson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
It is almost impossible to believe that this flick was made in 2007 and not thirty years earlier in the height of the swinging sexploitation era. The illusion is simply perfect, not only in set and costume design but also in characterization and acting styles. I first saw it thinking it actually was an older film, and was surprised to discover that it was entirely modern.

"Viva" is nothing what you would expect. Anna Biller, who is the writer, director, costume designer, lead actress and pretty much everything else, is firmly in the sex-positive feminist camp and has set out to make a movie that lures you in with the promise of easy sleaze but then delivers something else. Oh, to be sure there are nudist camps and swinger parties, orgies and naughty poolside antics, but none of it is there to sexually excite the viewer, with no tight focusing on body parts. The men are fully naked more often than the women, and all the sex scenes are cut short right when the action begins. Anyone looking for some naughty indulgence is going to be disappointed.

The story is straight out of the letters column of an old Penthouse. Bored and unhappy with their spouses, the dark-haired Barbie (played by Biller, who is half-Japanese) and her blonde neighbor Shelia (Bridget Brno) decide to experience the sexual revolution. Shelia quickly hooks up with a wealthy old gentleman who can ply her with diamonds and furs, but Barbie, re-christened "Viva" to show her new freedom, only finds one bad affair after another. She tries everything from a gay hairdresser and his bi-sexual hunk of a lover, to a guitar-strumming hippie nudist, to a lesbian model and finally a modern artist. Nothing satisfies her, and things just don't go as planned. All of the "scenes" are tinged with darkness, and the purity of word doesn't translate to purity of action.

Biller apparently created the storyline for "Viva" by looking at advertisements in old men's magazines from the time period, then creating a story around images she liked. Because of this, the plot can be a little jerky, as the characters move to suit the scene rather than the other way around. The visuals are stunning, with an outrageous color palette and era-perfect hair-dos and costumes.

I don't personally think that Biller was as successful as she wanted to be in transmitting her theme of "What is a feminist woman made a 70's sexploitation flick?", and the film often comes off as little more than a comedic parody of the genre. Some scenes are easier to digest than others, and there is some brilliance. The best scene is when one of the male characters talks about how wonderful this time is, with open shirts and women at his beck and call, and a warning that such a paradise for men will not come again.

There is a message to be found here, however, and multiple viewings of "Viva" are probably required to get the full impact. Fans of Russ Meyer's flicks like Beyond the Valley of the Dolls are going to have a blast here, and even if you aren't in the mood to mine the deeper feminist message you can just have a good time with all the bright colors and funky fun.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94d4b624) out of 5 stars An original movie with something of value for everyone 25 Feb. 2009
By M. hampton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Many films, even a few indie ones, feel as if they were created by committee, relying on cliche, formula, and even fallacy for their effects. One finishes viewing them hungry for a point of view, for freshness. Viva is without a doubt one of the most ORIGINAL and creative movies to have come along in years. It is beyond category and beyond definition and yet I will try to summarize a response in the space available here. One one level Viva is a witty even farcical nod to soft core sex movies of the early 70s. Indeed, the art direction and design, all of it brilliantly executed by the writer/director and lead Anna Biller, is utterly faithful to the styles of that period. Yet Biller is not content with faithful recreations of any particular genre because Viva is also a movie that succeeds in combining apparently disparate qualities; at once it is a comedy with deep roots in classical Hollywood filmmaking (Billy Wilder comes to my mind) as well as the most serious examination of a woman's spiritual journey as she deals with the tulmutuous effects of recent American history, notably the sexual revolution. In this sense Viva can be enjoyed on many levels and, contrary to some verdicts, is anything but a single themed, parodic sex movie. Yet, for those interested in the erotic, it does offer some of the most erotic moments in recent American cinema. The dialogue is inventive, the acting fascinating, and the color rich in meaning. Watch Viva more than once because there is much more contained therein than initially meets the eye, though what DOES initially meet the eye is always exciting and enlightening.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94ea386c) out of 5 stars Modern retro sexploitation ala Russ Meyer! 18 Sept. 2009
By Elan Bodwick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
When i first got this i thought it was some long lost 70s softcore exploitation film but the picture looked a bit crisp and it became somewhat clear that this was a recent made ode to Russ Meyer and 70s era swinger films. Despite being made in 2007 Viva is a beautifully filmed and entertaining piece of cinema. The sets costumes and music are all great and the feel and moods are spot on for the early 70s. It starts alittle slow but gets better as the movie progresses. There are many scenes that are almost perfect recreations of classic films like Beyond the valley of the dolls and Vampyros Lesbos- shot so well that its difficult to place it anywhere beyond 1972. The film-maker has a real talent for filling the screen with visual treats and colors that are stunning. Despite the campy nature of the story which ofcourse is done on purpose, the camerawork rivals any noteworthy film especially for a lowbudget B-movie. Oh yeah i must add thats there's tons of both male and female frontal nudity in this unrated version and the orgy scene is a mix of pyschedelic imagery and comedy that is a must see. Not everyone ofcourse will get the "in jokes" as this film is aimed at people like myself who live for retro trash cinema exploitation and cult films. I can see this on an x-rated version of mystery science theatre and will be a definite showing at any 70s party or swinger convention. Turn off the volume and make up your own dialogue at your next party for a good laugh. I think Russ Meyer would have gave his blessing to this one and thats the best praise a film like this could hope for!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Movie Lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Viva is one of the most original films I've seen in years. Its excessive portrayal of the 70s sexual revolution, accompanied by its campy production design, transported me back to my wild misspent youth. The deliciously saturated colors were exquisitely captured by the utterly phenomenal cinematography of C. Thomas Lewis. The incredible lighting and lensing were spot-on for the genre, and added the convincing edge needed for this homage to sexploitation. One eye-popping scene after another culminated in an orgy of visual delight certainly befitting the diva Viva. If for no other reason buy this dvd to delight in the kind of beautifully lit color that has been absent from recent movie making for far too long.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94d4ba5c) out of 5 stars Gender roles, brightly subverted 30 Sept. 2009
By David J. Hogan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
In 1972 a bored, unhappy housewife in suburban America assumes the name "Viva" and undertakes a risky sexual quest that takes her very far indeed from her ostensibly respectable starting point. As Voltaire's Candide begat Southern & Hoffenberg's Candy, so too has it inspired Anna Biller's remarkable film, VIVA. Revelatory journeys of self-discovery are irresistible to imaginative writers, and with VIVA, Biller (star, writer, producer, director, editor, and designer) has created a brave and very funny addition to that tradition. Although barely into her thirties, Biller has been a filmmaker since 1994, and was successful in theater before that. She's keenly interested in the gaudy detritus of years past, and the myriad of subliminal messages and meanings carried by such objects. Biller's re-creation of 1972, brilliantly shot by C. Thomas Lewis, is simultaneously dead-on accurate, amusingly parodistic, and excitingly artful (her tableaus of the hideously colored finger food Viva labors over for guests is worth the price of admission all by itself). Although structured very much like work by Russ Meyer or Doris Wishman, VIVA subtly subverts the conventions that guided those filmmakers. Meyer and Wishman made films for men, while Biller works for art's sake, and for herself. In the film's frequent soft-core sex scenes, for instance, a bit more attention than one might expect is given to the good-looking male bodies, and Viva's physical reactions are neither as deep nor as satisfying (for us or for Viva) as sex-movie tradition--and the larger culture--has dictated. A protracted nudist-camp sequence that's peppered with gorgeous women is cleverly unsexy, partly because of the passive, insipid nudity of the males. These are subtle things that the viewer will barely register consciously, but the cumulative effect of Biller's thinking is a fresh insight into the maze of contemporary female sexuality. None of this is to suggest that VIVA is stuffy or polemical. To the contrary, it's lively, sharp, and funny. Performances are broad, in the style of sex pictures and other grindhouse fare of the '70s, but they're also incisive and thematically meaningful. Every falsely hearty laugh (costar Mark Sanford, as Viva's horny neighbor, is particularly good at this) and every selfish pout are droll and knowing. As Viva, Biller's intriguing blankness of demeanor isn't just blankness--it's a cleverly calculated representation of female bafflement and frustrated desire, and how they can play out in women's often-bumpy journey to confident self-awareness. And then there's Biller's courage: It's brave enough to direct oneself in a movie, and braver still to direct oneself in the nude. Biller is a very pretty Anglo-Japanese woman whose ripe body is frankly beautiful. Her sex appeal and faint exoticism are apt to be simultaneously pleasing and unsettling to thoughtful viewers. Women may wonder if, by doing numerous scenes unclothed (or by casting herself in the first place), Biller isn't subverting her own subversiveness. Male watchers (and I use the word "watchers" advisedly) may be troubled by their inevitable, primal reaction to Biller's charms, and to the charms of other women in the cast, particularly blonde Bridget Brno, who's wonderfully funny as Viva's sexy, birdbrained best friend. In interviews, Biller has said that it's strange to be a woman, that the whole business of the body maturing and becoming an object of male desire before the mind and emotions are even remotely ready to handle the consequences creates a disconcerting conundrum. Art is one way to deal with that, and because Biller thinks like a conceptual artist, VIVA is an important, highly unusual entertainment.
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