Q&A with Josie Ho

Picture this: You’re wandering through a surreal, cine-literate Los Angeles, where the lines between reality and fantasy blur like a watercolor painting in the rain. That’s the universe of Habit, a wild, unclassifiable debut feature from director Janell Shirtcliff that will leave you exhilarated and dumbfounded. Edited by the legendary William Chang Suk-ping, who’s worked his magic on Wong Kar-wai’s films, Habit follows a ragtag group of young immigrants led by Mads (Bella Thorne) and their wild shenanigans in a bizarre underworld of soft-spoken drug dealers and hit men with Southern drawls. Thorne’s church-girl-gone-bad performance anchors the insanity, while Josie Ho’s unforgettable portrayal of the maniacal drug lord Queenie is a dark mirror that reflects the film’s twisted soul. What you get here is a work of unsullied camp that revels in its own paradoxes and the lurid fantasy of B-movies, finding emotional truth within the confines of pastiche, in a narrative propelled by the frenzied momentum of a drug deal gone horribly, beautifully wrong.