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Review: The modern L.A. artist on display in lively dramatic comedy 'White Rabbit'

Review: The modern L.A. artist on display in lively dramatic comedy 'White Rabbit'
Vivian Bang in the movie "White Rabbit." (Gravitas Ventures)

As vibrant and delightfully unfocused as its performance artist protagonist, “White Rabbit” is a bright, breezy exploration of a modern artist’s life, complete with side gigs and Instagram videos.

We’re introduced to Korean-born Los Angeles hipster Sophia (co-writer Vivian Bang) performing in the middle of a grocery store, wearing a platinum wig and using a microphone to amplify her voice.

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When she’s not making art — either in public spaces or in food-smashing videos on Instagram — she’s making ends meet with TaskRabbit freelance gigs. A chance encounter with photographer Nana (Nana Ghana) sparks a friendship between the two women, but Sophia hooks onto the possibility of a deeper connection with her fellow creative spirit.

“White Rabbit” dives headfirst into the everyday life of an artist struggling to make it in L.A., particularly when there’s not a real definition for “making it.”

Director and co-writer Daryl Wein has crafted a playful film that doesn’t hesitate to make fun of Sophia, even though its affection for her is clear. Other characters are its target as well, particularly those who want more from Sophia than she should give, whether it’s the privileged TaskRabbit customers or a white director (Nico Evers-Swindell) who asks her to put on a stronger Asian accent. Wein and Bang deftly balance the comedy and the commentary, resulting in a fast-moving, funny film that’s as alive as the city of Los Angeles itself.

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‘White Rabbit’

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 11 minutes

Playing: Starts Friday, Laemmle Glendale

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