If Harmony Korine were a woman, we would have seen Zola right after, or instead of Spring Breakers. Or would we? It was only 2015 when the world heard of and read a crazy story by a waitress and gogo dancer from Detroit about a nightmarish weekend trip that went wrong. In their R-rated Florida Project, newly befriended two strippers took off to Tampa to make up easy money. The story, told bluntly in 144 tweets became a viral sensation. The screenplay, written a couple years later, appropriately ‘pimped up’ the racy story into a movie. Result of a social media craze, the sophomore feature work by Janicza Bravo, Zola is a mix of crime story and black comedy (although very unlike her previous, Lemon, which was filled with dead-pan humor). Variety rightly called it an anti-bromance, pointing to the weird chemistry between the protagonists and perfectly cast actors: Taylour Paige as enraged and disappointed Zola and Riley Keough as her perfect opposite, Stefani (think a combination of her roles in American Honey and Girlfriend Experience).
Palm Springs IFF 2020 - Directors to Watch
Originally from Panama, Bravo studied Theater Direction and Set Design at New York University. She began her career as a theater set designer before directing several short films, including Gregory Go Boom with Michael Cera, winner of the Jury Prize at the Sundance Festival in 2014. Her feature debut Lemon (screened at the AFF in 2017) she co-wrote with her then-husband, Brett Gelman. Lives and works in LA.
2017 Cytryna / Lemon