A dangerous mission reunites STINGRAY SAM with his long lost accomplice, The Quasar Kid. Follow these two space convicts as their earn their freedom in exchange for the rescue of a young ... See full summary »
In the Alpine village of Tolzbad in the 1800s, the townsfolk talk quietly and restrain their movements lest they incur avalanches. This atmosphere lends itself to repressed emotions - shown... See full summary »
Somewhere in the future there is a computer project called Simulacron one of which is able to simulate a full featured reality, when suddenly project leader Henry Vollmer dies. His ... See full summary »
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Guy Maddin reluctantly returns to his childhood home, an abandoned Canadian island, where his parents ran an orphanage. As Guy fulfills his dying mother's request to paint the lighthouse ... See full summary »
An amnesiac soldier, seeking his lost love, arrives in Archangel in northern Russia to help the townsfolk in their fight against the Bolsheviks, all quite unaware that the Great War ended three months ago.
A young girl's arrival at a convent after the death of her parents marks the beginning of a series of events that unleash an evil presence on the girl and her mysterious new friend, an ... See full summary »
Space travel has become a dirty way of life dominated by derelicts, grease monkeys, thieves, and hard-boiled interplanetary traders such as Samuel Curtis, an astronaut from Earth who deals in a rare goods, living or otherwise. His mission begins with the unlikely delivery of a cat to a small outer-belt asteroid saloon where he meets his former dance partner, and renowned interplanetary fruit thief, the Blueberry Pirate. As payment for his delivery of the cat, Curtis receives a homemade cloning device already in the process of creating a creature most rare in this space quadrant... a Real Live Girl. At the suggestion of the Blueberry Pirate, Curtis takes the Real Live Girl to Jupiter where women have long been a mystery. There, he proposes a trade with the owner of Jupiter: the Real Live Girl clone for the Boy Who Actually Saw A Woman's Breast. The Boy Who Actually Saw A Woman's Breast is regarded as royalty on the all-male mining planet of Jupiter because of his unique and exotic ... Written by
According to the DVD director's commentary, moviegoers would come up to Cory McAbee during film festivals and ask where he got the Old Man to recite the "donut" joke, not realizing it was Tom Aldredge. See more »
This film is billed as a sci-fi, musical-western comedy. Sounds both original and strange doesn't it? The American Astronaut proves to be both of these (and strange definitely in a good way, believe me).
The story is centred around space trader Samuel Curtis (played by writer and director Cory McAbee), who we find in a bar on an asteroid belt, landing in order to make a deal. The scene in the bar is extremely funny, and introduces us to the fact that this is partly a musical. In the bar, unbeknownst to Curtis, is his intermittently-reoccurring nemesis, Professor Hess. Hess, a psychotic killer, pursues Curtis throughout his subsequent journey, in which he performs a number of deals, culminating in travelling to Venus to provide a suitable male to the women of Venus, in order that they release the body of their late suitor, Johnny R), and the dialogue between the two is one of the highlights of the film.
This film is stylishly shot in black and white, and Cory McAbee manages to convey the idea of outer space extraordinarily well with some simple direction. Especially impressive is the collage of still photographs showing Curtis explaining why Professor Hess is in his pursuit - it is funny, original, and ingeniously simple. Shot on a low budget, this film does not suffer from the fact in any way. McAbee's use of light and shadows is reminiscent of Orson Welles' direction in Citizen Kane - simple, but astonishingly effective.
With a superb soundtrack from McAbee's band The Billy Nayer Show, and the script as impressive as the direction, the film's slightly abrupt ending is the only chink in this otherwise flawless masterpiece; although even that has an upside, in that it leaves you wishing to hear more of Samuel Curtis, and the others.
Hopefully more from the same director will do.
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