Once we were all sung out, it was time for our usual break, and then on with the show and “The American Astronaut.” Described as a “rock ‘n’ roll-sci-fi-western-musical, the film was conceived and directed by Cory McAbee of the San Francisco band The Billy Nayer Show. He also stars in the film and wrote all of the music. My husband enjoyed the reference to “roughnecks” and the low budget black and white aesthetic. Graeme was frightened since watching the lead character dry shave with a jack knife made him feel like a p***y. Brendan pointed out that this may have been the intention.
Again, the plot of the film is pretty irrelevant, not because it only serves to lead us into songs, but more because it is so deliberately off the wall. We have our hero, Samuel Curtis (McAbee), a sort of rockabilly Han Solo who is entrusted by the Blueberry Pirate (an intergalactic fruit thief) with a box containing a clone of a “Real Live Girl”. He has to drop off The Girl at the all male mining colony of Jupiter, pick up the Boy Who’d Actually Seen a Woman’s Breast and drop him off on Venus in the care of the Woman with the Glass Vagina, retrieve the remains of Johnny R, the former stud to all of Venus, return the remains of Johnny R to his bereaved family back on earth in exchange for a large cash reward. All the while Samuel is being followed by his arch nemesis, Professor Hess (who also narrates the film) who is a serial killing Birthday Boy, meaning that he can only kill without reason, and he can’t actually kill Samuel because he apparently has reason to kill Samuel and needs to forgive him first. In the meantime Prof. Hess just makes due killing everyone Samuel comes in contact with.
Less than 20 minutes in, brains were started to warp. I’d forgotten how good it was. Brendan declared it the best music video he’d ever seen and was very impressed with the “ray gun.” We all loved the way space travel took place through a montage of grainy black and white stills. My husband noted of Prof. Hess that “Crispin Glover must have been busy that weekend.” Karl thought it looked “just like if Nine Inch Nails made a movie, only good.” Corinne thought the Boy Who’d Actually Seen a Woman’s Breast looked like he should be in the band Sum 41 with all that eyeliner. Graeme though he looked a little more Doogie Howser-ish. But we were all able to agree that his outfit made him look kind of gay.
The last controversy of the night concerned the Space Barn. Corinne wanted to know how the Silver Miners from 1902 breathed. My husband pointed out that the answer was very simple: Space Oxygen. No one could argue with that. And then the movie ended. Abruptly. Which is when I remembered why I thought I didn’t like it as much: I never wanted it to end. And neither did anyone else.
Rumblings from the Peanut Gallery: Despite many misgivings, everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy musical night; I’m just a little upset more people didn’t show up. However, that may have been for the best since the busier nights tend to get too chatty. Graeme challenged us to name any really great Dutch bands, but the best we could come up with was Junky XL. And plans where made then and there to see The Billy Nayer Show if they ever came to town.
Mariko McDonald and her husband host a weekly film night in their apartment, affectionately known as the Den of Sin. It’s kinda like evil film school. Monthly screening schedules are available at http:filmgurlland.blogspot.com and if you happen to live in the Vancouver, BC area and are interested in catching a screening please drop her a line at filmgurl79@hotmail dot com. Suggestions, hate mail and cute pictures of cats also accepted.
And of course you can always offer up some juicy Back Talk>>>