'Yes Men' film coming to the Hipp

One of the two "Yes Men," Andy Bichlbaum, left, or Mike Bonanno, will talk to audience members Saturday in a first-time video conference at the Hipp Cinema before a screening of their documentary, "The Yes Men Fix the World."

Special to the Sun
Published: Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 11:57 a.m.

Ask them what it was like pretending to be corporate shillers proposing acceptable risks for the bottom line or how they duped the BBC to appear before millions of viewers because, hey, they're "yes men" and they can't say no. Actually, as a Saturday audience at the Hipp Cinema will find out, Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno really are "Yes Men," a duo of gonzo activists by the same name who take on corporate executives in "The Yes Men Fix The World," a film documenting their pranks that opens at the Hipp Cinema on Friday.

And in keeping with their penchant for saying "yes," the two (or at least one of the two) have agreed to appear in a first-time, live video conference with Hipp audience members on Saturday to discuss, well, just about anything anyone would like to know about the film or their we're-not-above-anything approach.

"We're going to set up a mic in the cinema with a camera and they're going to have a mic and a camera on their end," says Shirley Lasseter, who hopes to have the exchange happen at 6 p.m. Saturday before the 6:30 p.m. screening of the film.

"They're pretty zany guys that's for sure. They call them gonzo journalists. They're just very creative and so we should be able to have a really interesting exchange with these guys," she says.

In "The Yes Men Fix the World," Bichlbaum and Bonanno pose as top executives of giant corporations and lie their way into business conferences to pull off outrageous pranks. How outrageous? You'll have to see for yourself, but the hoaxes include appearing before 1,000 New Orleans contractors with Mayor Ray Nagin or as fake corporate executives pondering the acceptable risk for bodily harm versus a gain for the bottom line.

"You can't believe what these men did and how they pulled off this hoax," Lasseter says. "They made really strong, powerful political statements and whether you agree with their political statements or not, you will laugh."

The film opens Friday and runs through Jan. 14 (except Monday and Tuesday). Call the Hipp at 373-5968 or see www.thehipp.org for times and to confirm the time for Saturday's video conference.

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