27

MONDAY

Cheekily, director James Felter has subtitled Part One of Rats, his horror-documentary film about Washington’s rodent population, Life and Death on Willard Street. Willard, of course, is the greatest rat movie ever made (infinitely superior to its sequel, Ben, Michael Jackson theme song notwithstanding, and slightly better than Gnaw: Food of the Gods II). In Willard, a social outcast trains his rodent friends to attack and kill his enemies. On a more sociological level, Rats similarly examines the power dynamics between man and rodent. Filmed on location, where the beasties purportedly outnumber humans 14 to 1, Rats scrutinizes Washington’s residents as critically as it does its vermin, blaming the city’s infestation on its moral, social, and political disintegration. Admittedly lacking the narrative sophistication of Willard, Felter’s film is nevertheless gruesome and terrifying in its implications: The way things are going now, the filmmaker suggests, it’s only a matter of time before they win. At 9:30 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1831 14th St. NW. $3. (202) 667-7960. (Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa)