Subculture Gets Rabid Over an American Cult Favorite
By John Hood
Maybe it’s something someone slipped into the Kool-Aid. Or perhaps it’s a result of an ever-secular culture seeking a deity that can be touched and felt and cryptically talked about. It could be on account of a loose screw, or a bolt from the blue; a sublime rite, or a broken Lite Brite. Then again, it might simply be that people dig the movies. Whatever it is though, it’s fervent, it’s mad, and it’s sometimes even rabid. And when those who’ve got it go on the attack, it’s an inescapable spectacle. It is the frenetic fanaticism found in fevered fans of Wes Anderson, and it is coming to a Green Room near you.
Make that The Green Room, the semi-secret hotspot adjacent to Revolution Live. And while the joint boasts a regularly occurring cavalcade of intriguing events, this Saturday night the place will be going one better and surrendering to the collective known as Subculture, who’ll be shooting Bottle Rockets over the Moonrise Kingdom from berths aboard The Darjeeling Express.
Or something. The cadre of creatives are calling the evening By Way of Wes Anderson, which is to say, they’ll be taking the roads most travelled by the cherished American director. That said roads may be made of routes real or imagined is a given — and a guess. What’s certain is that they will also be as bold and as vivid as the visions which guided ‘em into being in the first place.
Or as bold and as vivid as some of the best and the brightest minds in sound and vision can be anyway. We’re talkin’ music, dig? Namely Levek and Saskatchewan, in addition to the beats driven by Jolt Radio and Andie Sweetswirl. We’re also talkin’ photography; that is, Ian Witlen of The Camera Clicks and Chris Hill of Digital Cypher. And we’re talking art, including Erin O’Dea and Kyle R. Willis, as well as Kristin Frenzel, who with Gina Bentivegna co-curated the show (and who both also will be showing).
Why Wes Anderson, you ask? Well, Frenzel says it’s because she’s “in love with his movies!”
“They have such an amazing mood and flavor to them,”she adds; “I’m always completely immersed! I did a few pieces prior to this event, and I’m really excited to have an excuse to paint more Wes Anderson-themed art.”
Jacksonville-based artist Kyle R. Willis, who’ll be auctioning off three works inspired by The Darjeeling Express, says “There are many reasons, to be sure. For me, it’s his intense use of contrasting color that appealed to me, and I used this event as a platform from which to venture in new directions artistically.”
Painter and tattooer Erin O’Dea goes even further in her praising, saying “[Anderson] is the most visionary director of our time. He has had such a unique style from the very beginning of his career. The cast is always spectacular, the beautiful panning camera shots, his consistent use of Helvetica font, the color compositions, the witty screenplays, the montages and soundtracks. I could go on for days.”
Chris Hill, who does “a little bit of everything when it comes to film/video/photography”, and who has “a piece in the show, as well as a limited set of magnets that will be for sale”, believes “Wes Anderson has this kinda of timeless feel that appeals to most everyone… and his rich use playing with color pallets for scenes and movies, really makes it fun for an artist.”
The keen-eyed Ian Witlen, “a photographer specializing in editorial, music, and photojournalism” and whose work can be seen New Times, SPIN and Rolling Stone, cites Anderson’s “large cult following, [which] allows for an event with out-of-the-box ideas.”
Among those out-of-the-box ideas are the Commemorative Photo Booth where both Hill and Witlen “will be including some Wes Anderson themed surprises and props” in cahoots with Body Art by Keegan, and the premiere of Subvert’s Triumphant Vision, an “upcoming adventure” you’ll have to see to figure out. Subculture also promises local recipes from Riverside Market and live screen-printed shirts from The Fine Print Shoppe.
“By Way of Wes Anderson is the calling out of an audience within pop culture and giving them the opportunity to find themselves under one roof,” Subculture chief Phillip Roffman told NBC6. “Working with The Green Room’s Miguel Bravo, we wanted to create a significant experience that allows an audience to see some of their favorite Wes Anderson films in an entirely new perspective … a perspective created by a number of extremely talented artists, musicians, vendors, and businesses that we have always wanted to work with.”
In other words, just the kinda rabid attack you’d expect from fans of the unexpected director. An attack on the senses, as well as the mind, that you’ll be damn glad to have suffered. Let’s just hope it leaves scars.