The dismal character research “Poser” issues a podcaster who, by means of a collection of interviews with “underground” musicians, worms her manner right into a scene she clearly desires to be a part of. As its title suggests, a lot of “Poser” fixates on the dissembling, pathological habits that characterize Lennon Gates (Sylvie Combine), a podcaster and wannabe songwriter, and her relationship with Bobbi Kitten (as herself), half of a feminist-themed indie pop duo.
Author/director Noah Dixon and co-director Ori Segev negligibly disguise their contempt for Lennon by letting Combine’s character hold herself along with her personal inside monologue, articulated by means of excerpts from her podcast, and her equally clear actions. Lennon’s motives are nonetheless apparent, and so is the film’s superficial presentation of her compulsive posturing. No actual particular person acts or appears to be like like Lennon does, not till you’ve blown up their human qualities to a hatefully oversized scale.
You possibly can inform how little Dixon and Segev consider Lennon from a number of introductory scenes that paint her as a greedy, non-introspective hanger-on. She googles “how to create a podcast” earlier then she begins interviewing a bunch of keen and barely ridiculous bands in Columbus, Ohio. Lennon additionally explains her course to us: first she makes use of a smartphone to report her podcast interviews, then she re-records that audio with a cassette participant. As a result “analog just sounds better.” “My process may seem weird, but I embrace the unconventional,” she pouts earlier than describing her concentrate on “bands that you’ve probably never heard of.” Should you may probably meet an individual like Lennon in actual life, you most likely wouldn’t need to know them for a very lengthy.
A lot of “Poser” issues how closed-off and subsequently inaccessible Lennon is. However, Lennon and Bobbi always present us and, to some extent, one another what they like about one another. Bobbi takes a shine to Lennon after she hears a few of Lennon’s music lyrics, written down by hand in her journal. “You’re an artist, you get it,” she tells Lennon in a later scene.
That’s clearly an overstatement for impact since Lennon by no means actually appears to “get it.” In a single scene, Lennon imitates Bobbi’s gestures, recorded at a dwell live performance, in an unclean mirror. Then she actually mimics Bobbi at an efficient artwork present, as a result of she doesn’t perceive how efficient artwork works, and Bobbi’s desirous to act it out for her. Spontaneous syncopation is what makes good artwork, it appears. Or, as Bobbi places it, “witnessing something I haven’t seen before.”
Lennon’s skin-deep alienation shouldn’t be solely the movie’s topic, however, the final check of how lengthy you need to hold with “Poser,” a film that’s offered in darkish, heat colors that hardly improve our view of no matter’s within the foreground. Largely folks’ faces, all of which appear to take in the shadows that Bobbi and Lennon appear to assume flatter their options. (“I come alive in the dark,” Bobbi sings in a single scene) That’s additionally clearly not the case since “Poser” is concerning the perils of retreating right into an implausible subculture which, in this film, solely exists within the intuitively negotiated house between Lennon’s head and the film’s actuality.
Masks, just like the one which’s actually worn by Bobbi’s mute inventive accomplice Z Wolf (as himself), are a revealing concern, as one dialogue change spells out for us. As a result, when Lennon asks Bobbi why he wears a latex wolf mask, Bobbi says that it’s Z Wolf’s “way to not have to deal with people’s bullshit.” This frivolous line additionally explains why a lot of time in “Poser” is spent highlighting the emotionless, unreadable expression on Combine’s face. She’s bought no persona past the strikes and gestures she takes from Bobbi, and no life past the work that she does along with her “analog” recorder, shot with a particular emphasis on the purple crosshair over its clear cassette window.
Lennon and Bobbi always inform us who they’re, however by no means in a manner that requires a lot of unpacking or important thought. Bobbi could also be pretentious—“I don’t give a f**k what they think,” she says, although who “they” stays unclear—however no less than she’s attempting to determine who she is without manipulating others. In accordance with this played-out arthouse stalker narrative, that’s.
“Poser” may need to be extra satisfying if its gauzy night-club aesthetic and daring, underlined dialogue didn’t smother viewers with trite observations about hipster artists. Certain, the film is simple on the eyes, nevertheless it doesn’t transfer very distant from the identical speaking factors, repeated advert nauseam till Lennon’s story lastly arrives at its inevitable feel-bad conclusion.