Film by Derek Larson Music by ESL
Indianapolis Museum of Art
Friday at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.
You don’t have to be left out of this joke. This Friday and Sunday, Herron School of Art student Derek Larson and his band, ESL (English as A Second Language), will jam live at the Indianapolis Museum of Art beside a giant video game console while Larson’s new short film, The Middle Temperature, plays on the screen.
While Happy Chinese Billie Holiday, the previous film screened and performed at IMA by Larson and ESL, was dark and abstract, The Middle Temperature is silly, smart and linear. You won’t walk away trying to interpret what the storyline was. Reminiscent of a Gregg Araki film, particularly Nowhere, it’s simply a dark comedy.
The music is slightly different also from the jam-band-meets-Radiohead sound ESL offered as accompaniment to the last movie. Larson still sounds like Neil Young but the band has a more low-fi, repetitive sound to go with the video-game-feel of the movie. It works without being annoying, like the music on most newer games.
The gist of the 25 minute movie: Claude Lorriane, played by Todd Arney, is pulled between two opposite extremes in his head, the good guy ice cold glass of Diet Coke (Jose Di Gregorio) and the bad guy hot cup of coffee (Brian Priest). Cold Diet Coke wants him to go jogging or have an Herbal Essence moment and Hot Coffee wants Claude to sit on the couch all day wearing sunglasses and playing video games. The drinks are opposite extremes but eventually become the same at room temperature. Lorraine is that middle temperature.
The movie is full of fight scenes between Diet Coke and Coffee that turn to animation by Evan Sheets, hilarious flashbacks of Lorraine’s Norwegian childhood and the sad yet amusing relationship with Claude’s wife, Violet. At one point Violet propositions a man in a car by saying, “My husband has given me three beautiful children, but they’re all blonde.”
The movie touches on the argument that new technology such as video games and the Internet are extinguishing the “healthier” forms of entertainment such as reading or the Rubik’s cube. “All some people really care about is being entertained,” ESL member Keeara Rhodes said. If you are one of those people, don’t miss this.