There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Josh Kletzkin and Sascha Paladino’s Burn Baby Burn follows the trials and tribulations of (the aptly named) Les Enfants Terribles, a fictional high school emo band, as they embark on their first promotional East Coast tour. Pushed by a humorously cliched supporting cast of profit-motivated label managers, Russian New Wave-referencing video directors, and neurotic New York band promoters, Les Enfants Terribles begin to question their desire to “make it” in the corporate rock world, even as the band disintegrates into a mess of heated arguments and photo shoots. Burn Baby Burn was shot using a combination of 16 mm, Super 8, and digital video, and the constant switching from one format to the next leaves you wondering if you’re watching a tour documentary or a home movie. The film’s most professional-looking moments are the numerous (and irritatingly repetitive) live-performance sequences, which feature sweeping camerawork and by-the-numbers editing reminiscent of every MTV video you’ve ever forgotten. Although the film fails to live up to its potential as an in-depth study of the dynamic relationships between band members, it does capture the mind-numbing monotony of life in a cramped van, where people, places, and dates all seem to blur together. And despite its laughable storyline, one-dimensional cast, and stumbling dialogue, Burn Baby Burn effortlessly manages to be an endearing reminder of the confusing age of adolescence, when nothing was more important than being in a band with your best friends, until everything began to change. Burn Baby Burn screens at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 28, at Visions Cinema Bistro Lounge, 1927 Florida Avenue NW. $6.50. (202) 667-0090. (Matthew Borlik)