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Miami Valley Music Focus explores the places and people behind the music of Southwest, Ohio.

Movie 'Poser' pays homage to Columbus music scene

Poser Poster
Photo by Oscilloscope Laboratories
"Poser" Poster

“Poser” has shed light on the underground music scene located in Columbus, Ohio after its debut at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival. The story follows shy podcast personality, Lennon Gates (Sylvie Mix), as she feeds her interest in music by hosting local artists on her show. Her introduction to pop artist, Bobbi Kitten, launches Lennon’s intense fixation on the musician.

Bobbi Kitten plays a fictional version of herself, a charismatic, cool, self assured, and vibrant musician with undeniable star quality. In the film, Bobbi Kitten serves as a sort of alter ego to Lennon. Not only has Bobbi infiltrated but she thrives in the insider world of the indie music scene that Lennon desperately wants to be a part of.

This subtle thriller captures a battle between confidence and insecurity. The cinematography focuses on the dark alleys, abandoned warehouses, rooftops, and dingy apartments that create the city's allure. These scenes are then stunted by the flashy neons of the noisy performances featured in the film.

The feature directorial debut from Denison University graduates, Ori Segev and Noah Dixon, “Poser” hits close to home for these Columbus residents. The film was produced by the duo’s production house, Loose Films, which is also based in Columbus.

The film highlights a variety of local Columbus artists which creates the authenticity that makes “Poser” so compelling. The culture and costumes of such an interconnected community are captured by Segev and Dixon by using real musicians and artists from the area. This intentional decision not only promotes and stimulates local talent but solidifies the message of the film that the talent and creativity of artists, seen in the film and beyond, are skills that are honed, and developed and that this dedication deserves recognition.

Kitten isn’t unfamiliar to this community of artists outside of “Poser.” She co -fronts Columbus pop-punk band, Damn the Witch Siren, along with the second half of the duo Z. Wolf. Z. Wolf is also featured in the film and, although his character is without lines and is only seen in his wolf mask, he is a really effective satirical presence. In addition to his acting role, he also serves as a contributor to the film’s original soundtrack as well as Damn the Witch Siren’s own tracks.

Damn the Witch Siren are joined by other Columbus artists such as WYD, Joey Aich, Rat Motel, and more to give a movie about music its own vitally unique score. The soundtrack covers genres R&B through indie and punk rock in order to include the full scope of talent that Columbus offers. As a result, the movie’s rollercoaster of energy and fervency is matched and managed through its score.

Despite ”Poser” being Kitten’s first feature length film, her and Mix’s presence and chemistry on screen is another factor that makes the film and its story as compelling as it is. Mix gives a certain humanity and relatability to her otherwise creepy and chilling character. Kitten brings her A game in her first movie. She is intense and addicting in this role, much like her stage presence in real life.

The film has also catapulted Kitten successfully into the cinematic world. After the release of “Poser," Kitten was asked to act alongside Tina Fey and John Hamm in dark comedy “Maggie Moore(s),” directed by John Slattery. Currently, she is being considered for the starring role in the upcoming Madonna biopic.

After its release at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival, Oscilloscope Laboratories purchased “Poser” and premiered it at the Gateway Film Center in Columbus in early June before the film begins its theatrical run in both New York and Los Angeles on June 17th.

To celebrate the film's success and local debut, Loose Films and Oscilloscope Laboratories, in collaboration with members of the Columbus music scene, presented the event, “Poserfest,” on June 10th. Hosted by local venues, A&R Music Bar and The Basement, “Poserfest” is set to feature 10 local musicians from the area including WYD, Mungbean, Joey Aiche and more.

Watch the official trailer for "Poser" here.

Miami Valley Music Focus explores the places and people behind the music of Southwest, Ohio. This series is made possible by support from Ohio Arts Council.

Selah Griffin is a resident of Clifton, Ohio, but has been a part of the Yellow Springs community her whole life. Her involvement at WYSO dates back to her education at The Antioch School where she worked on the radio series Zombie High School. She is currently attending Denison University as a journalism major and religion minor. She is a DJ on the student-run Doobie Radio and a staff writer on her school's newspaper, The Denisonian.