From singing catchy, nonsensical lyrics about a girl who uses Vaseline on her toast (1993's "She Don't Use Jelly") to encouraging fans to dress as giant fuzzy animals and dance with them on stage, the Flaming Lips have always pushed their music toward strange and psychedelic places. Now frontman Wayne Coyne has written and directed a new film, Christmas on Mars: A Fantastical Film Freakout, which he compares to Eraserhead with elements of fantasy and space. "The story that unfolds is intended to hint at childlike magic within a tragic and realistic situation," Coyne says.
The trippy B-movie film was nearly eight years in the making and tells the story of the first Christmas on a newly colonized Mars. Coyne plays a Martian, and all of the Flaming Lips make appearances, too, including Steven Drozd, who stars as the discontented Major Syrtis. The band also contributed the ambient, instrumental soundscapes for the soundtrack. Other notable actors include Adam Goldberg and Fred Armisen Saturday Night Live's current Obama impersonator as well as an established drummer who once played in a band with Drozd.
As Coynes fantastical world threatens to devolve into madness, characters lament that "human beings were not meant to live in space." The film is assuredly kitschy and weird, but if you need some relief from all the treacle we're usually drenched in at Christmastime, Christmas on Mars will certainly deliver. It screens tonight at 8 p.m. at the Boulder Theater, 2032 14th Street in Boulder. Doors open at 7:30, and tickets are $10; for information, visit www.bouldertheater.com or call 303-786-7030.
Wed., Dec. 10, 8 p.m., 2008