Saturday, August 24, 2013

The American Astronaut

     It's a film.  A science-fiction film, a space-western grittier than Firefly or Serenity at either effort's darkest -- and shot in black and white.

     It would only confuse you to add that it's a musical comedy.  And yet it is.  Come to think of it, the plot's about as thin as a 1930s Saturday morning serial and the effects are, too--

     And with all that, it's good fun.  The hard-bitten space trader of the title gets entangled in a series of deals that -- if he succeeds every time -- will leave him rich.  Or at least they will if his nemesis doesn't kill him first.* There are a number of WTH--? moments but in the end, it turns out you can trust director/actor (and occasional bouncer) Cory McAbee to never quite go over the edge and after the last scene, I laughed and laughed.

     I wrote of the science fiction of the late R. A. Lafferty a few days ago and this film, in theme and attitude, is as close to his work as you're ever likely to see on any screen.

     Showed Tam the trailer and she commented, "That made no sense at all."   So there is that.  YMMV.  If you were hoping for an art-house Star Wars, you might as well save that nickel for next week.  But I thought it was interesting and entertaining.  Bonus: includes the most surreal prank I have ever seen done.
* Wow, I can't even write what I was thinking without giving too much away -- but if you watch this, see if you don't see some parallels to a later, larger film.

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