Tribeca 2021 Film Festival Review: Poser

Written by Taylor Baker

73/100

“I usually will record digital, then I rerecord analog because analog just sounds better.”

Sylvie Mix stars as Lennon Gates, and before the title sequence winds down there’s little doubt that she’s the professed Poser that the film’s title indicates. But how far does it go? What follows is a weaving observational film at times bordering on a critique of the music and art community in Columbus, Ohio. All the while Lennon is in the background observing, recording, and chewing her lip to create episodes for her Podcast, a motif that certainly hit home with this particular viewer. When does the operation of collecting become artistic theft, and when does mimicry do the same? These are big questions you can put in the heart of Poser though it’s unclear if the film’s screenwriter Noah Dixon(who also co-direct’s alongside Ori Segev) intended for them to be there all along, or if he found something perennial in his screenplay by accident.

Lennon convinces Bobbi Kitten to do an interview for her Podcast around a third of the way into the hour and twenty seven minute film. Bobbi Kitten is part of a musical duo that is at the top underground music scene, and as the film continues Lennon becomes infatuated and obsessed with her. Looking to see and feel the world how she does. Wanting to know what it’s like to be her. Someone so cool, so creative, so original. These ideas come alive in an art gallery where Bobbi asks Lennon to focus on her and do everything she does. The idea being that at some point, the one who is copying begins to inform the choices of the originator. It’s a chewy idea, and one that hasn’t left my mind days after viewing.

The films editor Donavan Myles Edwards works crisply alongside composers Adam Robl and Shawn Sutta who provide original music to the score. Their sounds constantly buttress a written or contextual accent further, crescendoing to particular sound queues and frequently lingering in wideshot images that evoke feeling. This allows the composition to sit in the background miring us deeper into various emotions. Not quite a drama or thriller Poser lies moodily somewhere in between. 

Poser is currently playing as part of the Tribeca 2021 Film Festival to purchase a ticket to it click here.

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