Search
| Clear, 81 F (27 C)
| RSS | |

SECTIONS:

 

Arts · Politics · Crime
· Sports · Food ·
· Opinion · NOLA ·
Lagniappe

 
THE

Defender Picks

 

SAMEDI

July 22nd

Ice Cream Social

Longue Vue, 10AM

Plus adoptable pets from the SPCA

 

Veggie Growing Basics

Hollygrove Market, 1PM

Grow your own food

 

National Hot Dog Day

Dat Dog, 3PM

Raffles, ice cream and more

 

Cocktails and Queens

Piscobar, 6PM

A queer industry dance party

 

Immersive Sound Bath

Nola Yoga Loft, 7PM

Soothing 3D Soundscapes

 

Paul Mooney

Jazz Market, 8PM

Also ft. music by Caren Green

 

New Orleans Beatles Festival

House of Blues, 8PM

Come together, right now

 

Christmas in July

The Willow, 8PM

Ugly sweaters and peppermint shots

 

HOUxNOLA

Three Keys, 9PM

With Coolasty ft. Jack Freeman and more

 

Particle Devotion

Banks St Bar, 9PM

Ft. Paper Bison +  Tranche

 

Cesar Comanche

Art Klub, 9:30PM

Ft. Ghost Dog, Knox Ketchum and more

 

Gimme A Reason

Poor Boy’s Bar, 10PM

Ft. Savile and local support

 

Techno Club

Techno Club, 10PM

Ft. Javier Drada, Eria Lauren, Otto

 

DIMANCHE

July 23rd

From Here to Eternity

Prytania Theatre, 10AM

The 1953 classic

 

Eight Flavors

Longue Vue, 12PM

Sarah Lohman will discuss her new book

 

Book Swap

Church Alley Coffee Bar, 12PM

Bring books, get books

 

Urban Composting

Hollygrove Market, 1PM

Learn about easy composting

 

Brave New World Book Club

Tubby & Coo’s, 2PM

Open to all

 

Gentleman Loser

The Drifter Hotel, 3PM

A classic poolside rager

 

Mixology 101

Carrolton Market

With Dusty Mars

 

Freret Street Block Party

Freret St, 5PM

A celebratory bar crawl

 

Mushroom Head

Southport Music Hall, 6PM

+ Hail Sagan and American Grim

 

Glen David Andrews

Little Gem Saloon, 8PM

Get trombone’d by the greatest

 

Hot 8 Brass Band

The Howlin Wolf, 10PM

Brass music for a new era

 

Church*

The Dragon’s Den, 10PM

Ft. KTRL, Unicorn Fukr, RMonic


Art Review: Red Light Rodents on St. Claude


by Cheryl Castjohn

Andrew Brehm’s video installation “Ratss,” offered four minutes of awkwardly suggestive, terribly poignant postmodern social commentary. If you’ve seen this sort of thing around every other corner, then consider the possibility of said postmodern social commentary masquerading as porn parody. Not just any kind of porn parody, but porn parody starring rats.

 

The boppy, bow-chicka-wow-wow soundtrack played alongside a red light, a tennis aficionado, a captivating bicyclist, and an implied hook-up that warms up quickly but ends in unspeakable violence.  The action was curious and the production was good. The film and timing and music are technically dead-on, the actors are all on board, and the masks are notably well-made. This was not mediocre Youtube fodder whose production you have to overlook to get to the punch line. Brehm knows his stuff. It was funny, yes, but Brehm’s voice comes through with weird, uncomfortable clarity.

 

The piece opened with a doting couple who nuzzle and part, the presumed male leaving the frame and the female returning to her window. She switched a red light on, and draped a red handkerchief over the sill. What could be the white rat’s next customer appeared behind a tennis racket, and began stretching.  He lapsed into a tennis warm-up and trotted off out of frame, leaving the viewer to wonder if the innuendo is emanating from Ratss, or her own mind.  Soon enough, though, the camera moved in tight and reveals that "Tennis" is not the first rat to embed a few balls in this wall.  A poised bicyclist walked up and gave her Schwinn a slow, deliberate reach-around to extend a kickstand. 

 

The tell-tale advent of a split-screen close-up showed “Bicycle” thrusting away at an air pump (keep watching those credits – suggestive tire-pumping is not “Bicycle” rat’s only skill). Heated chopping of the least sexy vegetable in existence, the Brussels sprout, built to a frenzied crescendo, and a long, pink, floppy cylindrical object quadruples in size after a tricky cut-away after cut-away after cut-away. The slow, careful actions caught in close-up by Brehm’s camera direction eventually left no doubt that “Ratss” is really an innocent version of Skinemax, done rodent-style.

 

Brehm’s point of view is difficult to dismiss on the heels of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s recently released “Don Jon”.  Movies are taking on the embarrassing reality of movie sex in a thought-provoking manner.  The current dialogue regarding the weirdness of porn sex probably started in 1997 with Paul Thomas Anderson’s feature length film, “Boogie Nights”.  An uncomfortable tragedy loosely based on the life of John Holmes cast a critical eye on the adult film industry. Rather than portraying the Holmesian character as the luckiest man on earth, Anderson painted the picture of a not-so-bright, desperate social misfit who rolls down the path of excess like a bowling ball. An inter-racial couple found solace in their non-judgmental porn movie family, and this was good. An absent mother consoled herself with drugs over being forced to maintain the childless lifestyle her profession necessitates – which was bad.  Anderson’s fictionalized account lifted the curtain to reveal – ew – the warts beneath, as well as the trappings of tolerance which result from the actors’ permissive lifestyles.

 

The sex in Brehm’s “Ratss” was campy and funny and barely suggested, but was there.  The humor distracts while the telltale background music is still going for it like a non-discriminating friend in the back seat.  After watching a few times, the film started to feel like the discomfort of a high school crush:  The tingling sensation of blood rushing in the ears, the mind abuzz trying to maintain some semblance of social decorum and the gripping fear that everyone can feel the hum radiating from a libido in overdrive.   The film’s real coup was in its quest to help the viewer find out exactly how little it takes to suggest sex to him, cinematically speaking.  But more interesting is exactly at what point the viewer begins to squirm at the restrained innuendo. For the perviest, all it takes, apparently, is some watered-down muzak funk, a red light, suspicious kickstand management, and an especially large hot dog.




Follow Us on Twitter
view counter
view counter
Follow Us on Facebook
view counter
Mardi Gras Zone
view counter
view counter
French Market
view counter
view counter
Erin Rose
view counter
view counter


Contributors

Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde

Photographers


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor

Alexis Manrodt

Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

B. E. Mintz

Editor Emeritus

Stephen Babcock

Published Daily