In ‘Poser,’ local filmmakers and actors prove they’re the real deal

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Making films is difficult. Much harder than it looks.

Knowing this, I’ve been hesitant over the years to revisit locally produced independent feature films, not because I don’t like and want to support them, but because the wider audience might not understand why they can feel a little rough around the edges.

Also, my desire to support Columbus cinema would make it difficult for me to objectively answer whether a movie is good or just… local.

“Posing” doesn’t have this problem.

The Ori Segev and Noah Dixon feature debuted at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival nearly a year ago — and generated enough critical buzz that I know I wasn’t just letting my bias local take over.

It’s not just local. It’s a good movie.

After:Columbus Filmmakers Present ‘Poser’ at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival

Oscilloscope agreed, as the film distribution company founded by the late Beastie Boy Adam Yauch chose “Poser” for national distribution. To use an overused term, this film puts Columbus on the map.

But we can see it first, because next Thursday, “Poser” will make its public premiere with a 7 p.m. screening at the Gateway Film Center. (It’s nearly sold out, so buy tickets ahead of time on the GFC website.)

“Poser” is set in an underground Columbus art and house scene that seems hipster in the big cities than in the Midwest, a sort of hyper-realized version of the Columbus scene.

Just on the periphery of this scene is Lennon Gates (Sylvie Mix), a thoughtful and introspective podcaster who roots herself in said scene by recording sounds on her phone.

Lennon seems shy, an outsider who wishes to be an insider, and the recordings have a certain voyeurism to them. She pretends until she does.

But things change for Lennon when she meets Bobbi Kitten (a fictionalized version of the Damn the Witch Siren singer, played by herself). Bobbi embodies the confidence that Lennon lacks, and it becomes a relationship that takes an obsessive turn.

Segev and Dixon set the film in a world they knew and included a ton of local musicians and artists. I can say I was trying to take off my “local” cap, but when you see friends and acquaintances on screen, it’s hard not to become Leo DiCaprio’s tally meme.

Yet they use this mostly unprofessional cast to create something that feels organic, with nuances of Richard Linklater’s 1990 ode to his Austin home, “Slacker.”

Of course, lack of professional acting credits doesn’t mean lack of talent. Mix is ​​particularly telling and has a promising future as an actor, and Bobbi Kitten has already landed another feature, showing a deft pivot to acting from talent already familiar to those who have seen DTWS.

The film’s look is also gorgeous, both smooth and authentic with great work from cinematographer Logan Floyd.

This, combined with some deeply creative localization work, makes the “Poser” version of Columbus very cool. It’s the kind of movie I would have watched from my small town and said, I have to go.

To further celebrate the documented scene, Oscilloscope is pairing the theatrical debut with a mini-music festival called Poserfest at the A&R Bar and basement the weekend after the film premieres.

Columbus acts, including former Living Bands to watch like wyd, Joey Aich, Son of Dribble and many more will take to the stage in a setting conducive to recreating a house show.

Tickets for Poserfest are available individually, or you can simply add a little extra to your “Poser” premiere ticket on the GFC website.

I’ve screened “Poser” twice at home (including its Tribeca debut) but can’t wait to see it on the big screen with the filmmakers and cast. It appears to be a sold-out screening, and I’ve already purchased my ticket.

“Poser” is a talent showcase that doesn’t have to be judged locally. I can’t wait to see what’s next for everyone involved.

First “Ask” and Q&A

Thursday, June 2 at 8 p.m. (6:30 p.m. pre-party)

Gateway Cinema Center

4 out of 5 stars

Poserfest

Friday, June 10 at 6 p.m.

A&R Bar/Basement

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