In the opening to Kelley Kali and Angelique Molina’s 2021 film I’m Fine (Thanks For Asking), single mother Danny (Kelley Kali) wheels around the streets of Pacoima, California. Danny, recently widowed, and her eight-year-old daughter Wes have been “camping” in a tent on the edge of town while they find a better situation.
In a yellow tee, pink tank top, black bike shorts and fanny pack (an outfit picked out by Wes) and leopard-print roller skates, Danny dances her way into town. These moments are full of hope before the backbreaking reality of the day — scraping together enough money to secure a new apartment — gets into full swing. Set to Tha Alkaholiks’ punchy “DAAAM!” and showing Danny busting loose in front of local murals and hangouts, the opening recalls Rosie Perez’s sharp moves in Do The Right Thing (1989). Flowing cinematography by Becky Baihui Chen moves from close-ups on roller skates and dusty hands to wide shots of Danny set against vibrant wall art and busy intersections, the street corners and vacant lots bright in the sun and alive with the shake of her hips.
Set atop the sequence is yellow and pink hand-lettering created by designers Catalina Matamoros Puerto and Brian Vincent Rhodes. The text wiggles and shakes, echoing Danny’s energy. It’s a radiant, personality-driven opener that shines a light into Danny’s world: lonely and gruelling but full of light, too.
Titles Design and Animation: Catalina Matamoros Puerto
Main Title Designer: Brian Vincent Rhodes
Film Editing by: Katie McClellan
Written by Eric Brooks, James Robinson, and Rico Smith
Produced by E-Swift
Performed by Tha Alkaholiks
Courtesy of Loud Records
“Brand New Day”
Written and performed by Woo & the Clouds
Produced by iTrakWavs
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