The First Taste
NoBudge Starter Pack #2 • 04-Dec-2020
An army of Catholic high school girls prepare for their upcoming play while dealing with the ugliness of adolescence and the intrusion of a boy into their drama troupe. Chloe Xtina directs “The First Taste,” an expressive coming-of-age character study about the passions and fascinations of a group of theater kids. Their days are spent with acting exercises, warm-ups, rehearsals, etc. In-between arguments about lines of dialogue or costuming decisions, they find time to socialize about transforming desires and bodies. For a film about girls, the two male presences in the film offer fascinating context. There’s the one male actor in the play, who has the tendency to make everything about him, undermining the goals and interpretations of the girls. And then there’s the issue of the faith-based school, a curriculum that regularly injects worship of a patriarchal God throughout the day (their prayers seem to function more as communal experiences of recitation and chanting than anything else, but it’s still strange to behold). While balancing out the larger contextual, cultural, and gender concerns, Xtina’s film is constructed as a cascade of vivid details, and flashes of style. It’s a film that perfectly captures the vulnerability and naïveté of teenage life — vibrant personalities in the throes of messy transitions, some noticed, others hiding in plain sight.
Director: Chloe Xtina. Cast: Courtney Walls, Yeliz Yoruk, Sara Silva, Autumn Sylve, Riley Quinn Scott, Michael Fajardo. Director of Photography: Michelle Jihyon Kim. Editor: Katie Speare. Production Designer: Charlie Stuip. Producers: Beatrice Brown, Alyssa Grace, Maya Krishnan, Olivia Handrahan.
Up Next in NoBudge Starter Pack #2
In the future, a data limit is reached causing the internet to spill out into the real world. Luke Strickler directs and animates “2064,” an absurdist art video using stock 3D models of common American products and brands to paint a ridiculous future. A giant floating Mario becomes the Earth’s ne...
Two grown men compete to be the most childish at a friend’s birthday party. Director Tynan Delong, known for his gloriously adolescent dispatches from Brooklyn apartments, has crafted his most adolescent yet, aimed directly at the stupid teenage boy in all of us. (If you don’t have that side, I w...
A biracial girl caught between worlds prepares for her Bat Mitzvah and adulthood. Radiating with warmth and lived-in specificity, “Broken Bird,” directed by Rachel Harrison Gordon, is a tender coming-of-age drama about a divided upbringing. Birdie has reached a vulnerable age of anxiety and self-...