‘Poser’ Review: ‘Single White Female’ Gets a Punk Edge

Tribeca: Ori Segev and Noah Dixon tread acquainted floor of their first function, however sturdy performances and an enchanting surroundings position it a reduce above.

Lennon seems the section: teal-tinted hair, cool tattoos, a punky sartorial sense, giant headphones. As she sulks across the edges of a gallery opening at the arty facet of Columbus, Ohio, she turns out to slot in, till you realize… Why isn’t Lennon chatting with somebody else? How come no person has stated hi to her? And why is she recording the extremely elementary celebration chatter round her as an alternative of if truth be told engaging in it?

Reduce to a name card that, amusingly and painfully, shall we us in at the floor reality of Lennon’s lifestyles: The movie is named “Poser,” and that’s precisely what Lennon is. Whilst the elevator pitch of Ori Segev and Noah Dixon’s prickly function directorial debut is inconspicuous sufficient — it’s “Unmarried White Feminine” set within the colourful Columbus indie scene, with a beneficiant sprint of podcast humor — the movie’s attention-grabbing surroundings and a couple of breakout lead performances set it a reduce above different motion pictures love it. Spiky, humorous, feverish, and greater than a little bit nail-biting, “Poser” is an auspicious debut and evidence that this reputedly well-tapped sub-genre isn’t executed chilling audiences simply but.

However again to Lennon. In her first starring function, Sylvie Combine turns in a single hell of a efficiency, deftly dancing between unhappy and creepy, pathetic and dangerous, being the hero of her personal tale and the villain of such a lot of others. Lennon seems the section, that’s needless to say, however that’s additionally the purpose. Whilst we by no means be informed a lot about Lennon’s existence sooner than “Poser” alternatives up, a couple of awkward foods along with her straitlaced sister Janie (Rachel Keefe) signifies that Lennon’s circle of relatives existence is missing and her pastime in dabbling in new personas is outdated hat. Her newest obsession: the indie song scene of Columbus, which she hopes to infiltrate by the use of an attractive suave conceit. She’s going to start out a podcast about it.

Lennon is an observer by way of nature, somebody who likes “recording sounds,” which actually way she likes spying on folks. Her apply podcasts trace at her mimicry abilities, entire with a flat voiceover stolen from innumerable different podcasters who’ve come sooner than her (and can exist lengthy after she’s long past). Her investigation abilities are quite missing — Lennon is the type of gal who will Google “what’s efficiency artwork” and run with it — however she’s were given some critical follow-through. Quickly, she’s at all of the native displays, jabbering about how she needs to hide “the scene,” and lining up budding rock stars to “come on her podcast” and chat about no matter.

In the beginning, no person actually notices that the podcasts are by no means posted, whilst Segev and Dixon make it transparent that Lennon is recording, notating, and submitting the entirety. However for what finish? The movie, written by way of Dixon, gives one thing of a gradual construct, introducing its target audience to Lennon’s creepy quirks whilst additionally layering at the laughs due to a slew of uncomfortably humorous podcast interviews. As Lennon slowly ingratiates herself into her loved “scene” — is it loved? it’s not easy to determine why Lennon needs to be a part of any of this, which isn’t a grievance — she settles on a unique fixation.



Segev and Dixon have populated their function with a lot of real-life figures from the burgeoning Columbus artwork scene, which now not handiest provides a hard-won veracity, but additionally permits us (and Lennon) to satisfy Bobbi Kitten, a punk rocker taking part in a loosely fact-based model of herself. Just like the real-life Kitten, the movie’s Bobbi is the frontwoman of a fast-rising native band (Rattling the Witch Siren), an adored native determine with ambitious air of mystery and function abilities, all crowned off by way of a mop of purple hair. No marvel Lennon in the end turns her center of attention directly to Bobbi.

Whilst Kitten is possibly taking part in a model of herself, in her first actual on-screen function, she’s certainly not fearful of handing over a real efficiency. Like Lennon, Bobbi is a lesson in contradictions: she’s great however a little bit guarded, she’s inventive however she’s additionally liable to talking in generalities, and he or she is also the one one that keys into no matter is actually happening with Lennon. As Lennon will get to grasp Bobbi, so does the target audience, with Segev and Dixon infrequently dipping into her viewpoint after so steadfastly presenting the arena by way of Lennon’s skewed eyes.

It’s a raffle that most commonly will pay off later, and whilst “Poser” works as much as a quite predictable finishing, the main points and concepts that get us there are attention-grabbing and distinctive. Combine and Kitten are a powerful duo, each adeptly navigating difficult roles that make “Poser” this kind of exciting watch. Like Lennon, it seems the section, however there’s so a lot more happening below the skin.

Grade: B

“Poser” premiered within the U.S. Narrative Pageant phase of the 2021 Tribeca Movie Competition. It’s lately in the hunt for U.S. distribution. 

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