Searching for a way to fit into a scene she admires, Lennon Gates (Sylvie Mix) lands upon the idea of starting a podcast to interview the artists and musicians of Columbus, Ohio’s underground art scene. After recording poet Micah (Abdul Seidu), Lennon cannot believe her luck when she’s invited by him at a party to go upstairs to smoke a joint with Bobbi Kitten, the pink haired lead of Damn the Witch Siren whom Lennon idolizes. As their friendship progresses, Bobbi is supportive and down to earth, but Lennon is unmasked as a “Poser.”
Laura's Review: C+
Directors Ori Segev and Noah Dixon make their feature debut within the hometown scene they enjoy and indeed, “Poser” works a lot better as a portrait of a regional indie music scene that it does as a character study. Fledgling actress Sylvie Mix is fine in the lead, a convincing mixture of private confidence and public hesitance, but as written by Noah Dixon, she’s playing a borrowed tune in more ways than one. The film is very reminiscent of 2017’s “Ingrid Goes West” but not as successful, especially when it goes off the rails in a climax more indebted to 1992’s “Single White Female.”
When we first meet Lennon she is disappearing into herself at an art gallery while she surreptitiously records comments on her phone, comments she will repeat verbatim later in front of a totally different art work. She has easy access to local musicians willing to talk to anyone for publicity. Some of them are quite amusing in their affections like the first couple who talk about the revelation that atoms stream all around us leading to the name of their album ‘Oscillations’ – due in fall of 2026. But others Lennon goes to see in local clubs and various seedy spaces are really talented, like wyd or the guys who describe their genre as ‘junkyard bop.’ But as Lennon alternates working her menial job with recording interviews and performances we begin to notice that while she spends a lot of time transcribing into her journal, she never seems to make any effort to actually publish her podcast.
The film really grabs hold with the introduction of Bobbi Kitten's band Damn the Witch Siren, which consists of her and partner Z=Wolf, the latter never seen without his toothy wolf head mask, obviously the crème de la crème of the local scene. Bobbi is everything which Lennon is not – confident in her own talent and a riveting entertainer with something to say. She also loves every animal ‘except fish, ew,’ bad news for Lennon’s goldfish Brittany. After we hear Lennon profess a desire to ‘push herself out of her comfort zone’ for the umpteenth time, Bobbi does exactly that but while we’re surprised to hear Lennon’s sweet singing voice, it’s all too easy to see where this is heading.
Robin's Review: C+
Oscilloscope Laboratories releases “Poser” in Columbus, Ohio on 6/3/22 before expanding nationwide. Click here for play dates.