Meet the new faces of faux anti-patriotism: young, cute and with painted-on outrageous moustaches and goatees. They wear black and white striped shirts and berets; they carry baguettes and drink wine. They smoke, hate hyped political correctness and sing (in French, of course) about all of the above onstage in their songs. They also like to punch, eat cheese, hate Morrissey and will be hawking their new album Fromage de la Rue.
Beret! is just one aspect of the new touring festival of music, film and performance art known as The Backseat Media Festival. Sponsored by Backseat Conceptions, the production cozies up in Deep Ellum for two days. On Friday at Spiderbabies, Beret! will perform along with James Brown and his one-man show called Glory Hole and the bands Urine Trouble and The Invincible Czars. Doors open at 10 p.m.
Saturday's programming is all film with a selection of shorts (including Bill Plympton's Hair High, The Creepies vs. Robot Monster and Barak Epstein's Prison A Go Go) beginning at 4 p.m. The festival also includes the Dallas premiere of 4 Days in Panties starring James Brown of Glory Hole as a guy so obsessed with Chloe, one of the tattooed, pierced, dyed-haired girls from the Suicide Girls Web site, that the dude dresses like a lady to infiltrate the girls-only scene. Bringing the Backseat incest full circle, Beret! stars as the girls' angry French boyfriends who fiercely protect their fidelity. The Suicide Girls, several of whom co-star, and Troma Entertainment, producers of Tromeo and Juliet, present 4 Days in Panties at 6:45 p.m.
Continuing the bizarre co-starring theme is the Dallas premiere of Bikini Bandits, which is described as Russ Meyer meets Pulp Fiction with a band of buxom bikini-ed babes running amok, driving classic cars and toting large guns. Maynard James Keenan from the band TOOL plays Satan, while the pope is played by the late Dee Dee Ramone (who surprisingly passed away before John Paul). Corey Feldman and Jello Biafra also make appearances. Bikini Bandits starts at 5:30 p.m. Admission for the evening of films is $5.
What one will find in the Backseat is bizarre, surprising and definitely nothing like what was just in town for the Dallas Video Festival. It's also all just as ridiculous as "freedom" fries.