Artists' Television Access

Toxic Energy: Little Miss Potentiality Returns

Saturday, June 16, 2012, 8:00 pm, $6

Thalia Drori presents her dark comedy, Toxic Energy

Little Miss Potentiality returns, to answer the question: why is the mayor of Richmond, California developing an LSD-like drug that makes people dance naked? She joins forces with a massage parlor coworker and a lobotomized TV reporter. Together they race to uncover the devious mayor’s plot to stay in power, while a toxic cloud threatens to engulf the city.

Shot on 16mm black and white in the style of the silent film era with intertitles, the film’s pale, deadpan heroine was first introduced in the short film, Little Miss Potentiality. Toxic Energy features a musical score by Roddy Bottum (Faith No More, Imperial Teen) and the voices of KPFA radio personalities Kris Welch and Phillip Maldari.

As Little Miss Potentiality navigates through visiting relatives, a pseudo-communist boyfriend and her own simple aspirations, she fights to save a community.

“The story is taken from a combination of actual events, including a toxic cloud that hung over Richmond, California in the early nineties,” reveals writer and director, Drori. “It also explores the politics and problems faced by a community that lives and works near large chemical plants. The film is about action versus rhetoric.”

“As is the case with most of my films, it is autobiographical,” she continues. “The characters are people I know, people I have encountered working in the sex industry and in the corporate world, from musicians to corrupt politicians to clergymen.” The film was shot in Minneapolis, St. Paul and California with local talent. Matt Ehling served as Director of Photography.


Thalia Drori is a DIY writer, producer, and director of motion pictures -experimental, documentary and narrative, from Oakland, CA. She became a full-time faculty member at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1998 and in 2005 she founded Cineastas de Granada, a free of charge video production program for teenage girls in Granada, Nicaragua.

Director’s Statement:
Dark and surreal comedies, my recent films are about sexual politics and secretive behavior. The images and stories stem from my discomfort with the hidden, with what is behind the curtain. My films are uncensored female fantasies, focusing on revenge, fear and horror. In each of them, the protagonist exists as a “straight man” in whose still face is written the alienation she absorbs from the melodramatic world around her. Like the group hug that turns into an opportunity to cop a feel, my work embraces mainstream Hollywood’s comforting and sensuous form, while it simultaneously takes advantage of the innocence of that form by telling non-traditional stories and by using unorthodox content. Within the context of film as the coquettish seductress, I am exploring strategies to 
describe the female inner world.