Mike and Claire are a collaborative artist duo who craft bizarre worlds through gifs, film, and performance. VICE readers may remember their previous video piece, Fried Eggs, which we premiered back in July in conjunction with our 2014 Photo Issue, and the psychedelic Easter Sunday gifs they made for us last April.
Today we're hosting the world premiere of their new piece, "RATS," just in time for Halloween. "RATS" is a queer journey through a mischievous monochrome world that features an original score by Dev Hynes (AKA Blood Orange) and a cast filled with young and beautiful New York artsy types. The actors were given parts they might not typically play, ignoring traditional gender boundaries. The short uses color and lighting to convey the narrative of a commanding woman who takes control over a risky situation. It is also really freaky.
A short version of this video will play before each film in this year's MIX NYC Queer Experimental Film Festival. In its 27th year, MIX is a 15,000 square foot beehive that will feature a 175-seat cinema, a gallery of 12 diverse, ambitious installation artworks, and colorful characters who breathe life and magic into its one-of-a-kind queer utopia. It runs from November 11 through the 16, so be sure not to miss it.
"RATS," by Mike and Claire
Starring: Alexandra Marzella, Ashley Smith, Olivia Silarski, Matt Holmes, Bizzy Barefoot, David Moses, Maggie Dunlap, Olivia Bolles, Niki Takesh
Lighting: Tim Schutsky
Music: Dev Hynes
Hair and Effects Makeup: Silvia Cincotta, Ari Rosenbaum
Styling : Niki Takesh
Assistants: Anny Lutwak, Jessica Tang, Sydney Smith
Special Thanks to: Matthew Leifheit, Annette Lamothe-Ramos, and Joe Pluchino
See Mike and Claire's previous contributions to VICE here.