Five Favorite Films

A'Ziah "Zola" King's Five Favorite Films

The woman whose viral Twitter thread started it all talks about the badass women of Kill Bill, the authenticity of The Players Club, and the drama of Gone with the Wind.

by | July 7, 2021 | Comments

(Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb)

On October 27th, 2015, the Twitter handle @_zolarmoon tweeted,”‘Y’all wanna hear a story about why me & this b—h here fell out?”, and over the course of a 144-tweet thread, she went on to recount all the crime, sex, and betrayal of an epic “hoe-trip” down to Florida. Though the thread’s author, A’Ziah “Zola” King, couldn’t have known it when she started tweeting, the film derived from her adventures is a Certified Fresh hit with critics and audiences birthed and cultivated for the internet generation. Five years since the tweet first gained prominence and 18 months since the film’s Sundance debut, the world finally got to join in on the fun and giggle at the awkward and anxious tale.

Adapted by director Janicza Bravo and Slave Play scribe Jeremy O. HarrisZola stars Taylour Paige as the eponymous tweeter and Riley Keough as her clear-heeled stripping companion. More than just a road trip comedy, the film also serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of sex work. Before it was set to hit theaters, the woman who started it all spoke to Rotten Tomatoes about her favorite movies, having to meet the actress who would play her on screen, and what stories she might have in mind next.


Belly (1998)

16%

When I think about why I like it, I think it’s the director’s standpoint. I like the lighting. I love that the intro… It’s amazing. I love Kesha. I would watch it to be just like Kesha. And the story in itself is really well told, and it was, like I said, the directing for me, the lights, the mood, the entire film is like every scene in Belly. And it was shot like the poster. Every scene, you can hang it up, and it’s there. It’s just a whole story. I love Belly.

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

85%

Yes. It’s Kill Bill for sure.

Rotten Tomatoes: Do you want to choose one volume or go with The Whole Bloody Affair?

I have to combine them together because I can’t watch the first one without the second one. I love the Bride and Vernita Green. What also attracts me is the girl power. I’m here for a woman coming with a vengeance to avenge her wrongs. I love that. And she’s kind of like a superhero. I’ve always liked badass women. My favorite scene is when she finally had caught up with Lucy. The Bride finally caught up with her, and when she was fighting the whole room of like 200, 300 people and she was doing this move, or she’s like spinning on her back on the floor. That is my favorite.

Gone With the Wind (1939)

90%

I love that movie. I also like the classics. I think I’m just like a theatrical kind of person, so it’s probably the theatrics. I like the costumes. I like the way they talk the closing line. Like, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!” Yeah, I like the drama of it.

The Players Club (1998)

31%

My mom made me watch it a million times, and that’s going to be The Players Club. I love it. Clearly, I relate to it. Clearly, I get them. But beyond that, the comedy in The Players Club is unbeatable. There are so many one-liners that I find myself saying that I’ll be like, “There’s going to be trouble” to this day. I use Players Club lines all the time, so yeah.

Rotten Tomatoes: As a former exotic dancer, how do you rate it? Very authentic or not so much? 

It is actually very; I think that the movie came out for the time period, it was very on brand, for what the girls were going through. Absolutely.

Rotten Tomatoes: Have you seen P-Valley?

I have not, and people keep telling me I need to. I have not.

She's Gotta Have It (1986)

91%

One of the main reasons l liked it was the character played by Spike Lee – Mars Blackmon. He was my favorite character. He was so funny, so hilarious with anything he was saying. I don’t have a specific quote, but anything he said cracked me up. I also really relate to Nola, sexuality-wise, being a black woman discovering her sexuality. So that movie resonated with me a lot, and the remake — I think it’s a series? I loved that just as much. And from a sexuality standpoint, as far as being a young black woman, finding yourself, writing your own rules when it comes to dating, I’m like, “Yeah, that’s me.”


Zola

(Photo by Anna Kooris courtesy Sundance Institute)

Jacqueline Coley for Rotten Tomatoes: You — and the internet — have been waiting so long for this movie to come out. But now that it is coming out, where do you want to go next? Got some new stories in mind?

King:  I’ve always been a writer. It’s just how I process my trauma. Once I write something down, and I got it on paper, I feel like I can then move on. Like, that’s my step one. So I hope to keep writing. I mean, I have a million other stories. I always say, like, if you guys think this was something, “You see what I did last weekend?” I always have something going on, and I guess I have a niche for storytelling. That’s just how I talk, though. I tell a story the way that I would talk to my homegirl. So hopefully, I just keep at it. I have so many experiences that I could share. I worked in sex work for four or five years. I’ve met some very interesting characters who I think I’m definitely willing to talk about and piggyback off of this for sure.

Rotten Tomatoes:  We will be waiting and ready to read it when you do. For Zola, it has to be so weird to know someone is playing “you.” How did you get to know Taylour, and how much time did you spend with her, because that’s such an intimate thing.

King: Absolutely. I was saying earlier, it was kind of a manifestation thing, because I had my eyes set on her before I knew anything. I had my eyes set on her before she even knew that I had that thought. So when it happened, I understood I could trust them, because we had all been kind of fighting towards the same goal. By the time we met at Sundance, we had got really, really close, just talking all the time. She wanted to really get a feel. Do you know what I mean? And Taylour is so sweet. She actually wanted my blessing, in a way. I’m like, “Girl, you got it!” We talked all the time. She wanted to see my facial expressions. So we had a lot of the late-night zooms, because she just really wanted to do it justice. And I think she did her due diligence. She’s me. She did it.


Zola is now playing in select theaters.

Thumbnail images by Everett Collection, Miramax Films, (c) Island Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection 


On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Tag Cloud

festival Watching Series heist movie Black Mirror Awards Tour dceu olympics book adaptation revenge Spike streaming die hard telelvision Amazon Prime Video rotten Music jamie lee curtis Marvel Studios 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards hispanic heritage month Fox News concert razzies Pixar 007 2016 OWN Rom-Com Endgame dragons 1990s X-Men Discovery Channel universal monsters Family tv talk cartoon 4/20 Set visit serial killer Awards The Walt Disney Company Apple TV+ royal family dexter Pop TV TV Land Sci-Fi joker Tarantino Summer The Witch Cartoon Network YouTube Premium Mudbound indiana jones Opinion ESPN Emmy Nominations BET superhero discovery teaser Anna Paquin PBS spider-man true crime Avengers south america live action CBS All Access Calendar TLC GLAAD 99% The Walking Dead parents Musicals adaptation TNT rotten movies we love TIFF japanese TV One Song of Ice and Fire king kong Winter TV NYCC streaming movies Grammys name the review 90s Television Academy ID NBA Mary poppins Ellie Kemper cats ABC ITV The Purge chucky Comedy Central Acorn TV politics dramedy Photos reboot golden globes Peacock CW Seed Fox Searchlight ViacomCBS independent A&E HBO Go Comic-Con@Home 2021 indie all-time Musical Toys romance animated nfl USA Network ABC Signature scene in color binge Amazon Prime scary movies Black History Month Lifetime Christmas movies new star wars movies Apple TV Plus mockumentary First Look Starz kaiju Chilling Adventures of Sabrina latino Martial Arts harry potter Britbox American Society of Cinematographers natural history YouTube Red Character Guide TCA Winter 2020 comic books science fiction Creative Arts Emmys Comics on TV TCA 2017 cops Biopics DC Universe critics Netflix Christmas movies canceled TV shows new york Holidays RT21 trailers 24 frames Academy Awards Holiday cancelled television elevated horror period drama Cannes lord of the rings boxing aapi suspense Schedule travel doctor who romantic comedy Mystery marvel comics documentaries movies war Superheroe Dark Horse Comics cancelled nature Hallmark Christmas movies Countdown thriller sequels PlayStation Brie Larson finale transformers Lucasfilm stop motion franchise Disney streaming service 2017 21st Century Fox CNN ratings GIFs cinemax Sneak Peek unscripted black Apple richard e. Grant Reality remakes police drama crossover IFC space halloween christmas movies Nominations miniseries Writers Guild of America crime talk show technology sequel singing competition foreign critic resources free movies Sundance TV sitcom prank dc sag awards History spanish Trophy Talk BAFTA zombie high school international rt archives fresh game show Thanksgiving Pop batman composers reviews Emmys Binge Guide Ovation docuseries Sony Pictures Amazon Studios Comedy boxoffice Star Wars Baby Yoda The Academy Turner biography HBO 2015 2018 dark comic book movie football HBO Max WarnerMedia women First Reviews Funimation blockbusters action-comedy GoT Tumblr zombies sports Classic Film comic Heroines Premiere Dates Horror Shondaland legend archives casting ghosts Adult Swim Mary Poppins Returns anime Lionsgate toy story APB BBC One criterion AMC venice hollywood PaleyFest Valentine's Day Box Office posters Legendary Chernobyl wonder woman Film 2019 Pride Month Netflix Trailer Pacific Islander stand-up comedy Exclusive Video mcc TV slashers Pet Sematary monster movies comiccon Best and Worst renewed TV shows breaking bad CMT feel good Fantasy Spring TV Tubi comics disaster cults Marvel Television Hallmark New York Comic Con Television Critics Association Drama FX Hulu 93rd Oscars Alien justice league Tomatazos screenings Infographic 2021 Extras FXX news WGN fast and furious what to watch Syfy target Tokyo Olympics Women's History Month television Arrowverse Oscars king arthur BET Awards DGA child's play slasher nbcuniversal spinoff green book anthology Amazon Western NBC toronto E3 Masterpiece Paramount Network jurassic park rt labs zero dark thirty cancelled TV series kong game of thrones cancelled TV shows new zealand Kids & Family award winner deadpool Year in Review scorecard witnail hist Star Trek hidden camera 71st Emmy Awards aliens halloween tv obituary Esquire video saw Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Travel Channel robots kids festivals marvel cinematic universe Christmas USA 72 Emmy Awards book laika french spanish language Stephen King DirecTV Walt Disney Pictures Columbia Pictures rt labs critics edition political drama A24 Superheroes satire Cosplay TV renewals debate Disney LGBTQ Logo facebook Hear Us Out series 20th Century Fox 73rd Emmy Awards Video Games MCU TCA know your critic Reality Competition best Nat Geo Warner Bros. adventure asian-american Universal twilight E! supernatural 45 biopic Certified Fresh The CW Fall TV blaxploitation Country classics Election Image Comics psycho comic book movies james bond Marvel spain australia godzilla Bravo screen actors guild RT History Lifetime Mary Tyler Moore Crackle IFC Films TCA Awards quibi blockbuster crime drama Spectrum Originals Red Carpet FX on Hulu mission: impossible a nightmare on elm street CBS directors Paramount Showtime Disney+ Disney Plus adenture versus SDCC Super Bowl Rocketman vampires emmy awards Crunchyroll superman 2020 Nickelodeon The Arrangement crime thriller dogs Winners Mindy Kaling italian basketball werewolf TBS Captain marvel pirates of the caribbean Action YouTube YA Marathons diversity popular mutant Vudu children's TV Disney Channel DC Comics rom-coms BBC America stoner Rock TCM San Diego Comic-Con President worst films Ghostbusters Shudder Food Network National Geographic VH1 spy thriller worst movies VOD Interview Rocky hispanic psychological thriller MTV Freeform strong female leads historical drama SXSW Podcast canceled Quiz SundanceTV Pirates TruTV cars TV movies MSNBC movie El Rey Film Festival Comic Book documentary DC streaming service OneApp comedies golden globe awards medical drama Sundance Epix based on movie Trivia Broadway Teen Paramount Plus cooking ABC Family japan See It Skip It young adult Wes Anderson LGBT Polls and Games VICE Animation docudrama Sundance Now FOX BBC Disney Plus Elton John Turner Classic Movies gangster video on demand social media theme song