Hey, 2018 CAAMfest arrived and thanks to the magic of not having any shows at the “still run by the harassment-enabling Tim League” Alamo Drafthouse, tickets were purchased as a reward! (A reward for thee and me, of course! But mostly me.) Up first is what turned out to be my personal favorite of the three movies I went to, White Rabbit!
We first meet Sophia (Vivian Bang) already in character, dressed in a white with with face paint and a white jumpsuit, speaking into a microphone at an actual Whole Foods. She talks with an obvious Asian accent and recounts a classic immigrants journey in America, as customers pay confused attention. The real Sophia doesn’t have an accent nor is she the struggling mother who bought a store with her family after years of toil. She’s a single artist in LA who lives in a tiny apartment and is constantly creating outsider art for a small amount of views. Sophia survives by doing odd jobs on Taskrabbit, which leads to a few interesting encounters.
Sophia’s commitment to making her art is a blessing and a curse. As we find out from her meeting with an ex-girlfriend, Sophia treats her art as the highest priority and everything else second, including anyone she is in a relationship with and even Sophia herself. A meeting with a man who liked her work on YouTube soon turns awkward when he realizes she isn’t an immigrant with an accent and the powerful female role he envisions her in just isn’t powerful enough in his mind if she’s not speaking with an accent. He then manages to turn her obvious and vocal discomfort to somehow be all about him (the role was played by the director and collaborator Daryl Wein in a wonderfully accurate picture of certain types of supposed allies!)