"Space is a lonely town," reads the tag line for Cory McAbee's 2001 film, American Astronaut. Dubbed a "space-Western/musical," the film follows Samuel Curtis, an interplanetary trader who must deliver the women of Venus a new king for mating. In return, he'll receive their deceased king, who can fetch Curtis a hefty reward. But hot on his trail is Professor Hess, his arch-nemesis. McAbee, who enjoys cult status as the singer for the band Billy Nayer Show, plays Curtis, and in addition to writing and directing the film, he performs the entire soundtrack. The film explores themes of isolation and gender, and should appeal to fans of last year's more widely distributed Moon, starring Sam Rockwell and written by David Bowie's son. American Astronaut, which was nominated for the Sundance Film Festival's Grand Jury Prize and uses black-and-white photography as well as rough and ragged homemade sets, should also appeal to those who like a little fun in their avant filmmaking.
Thu., July 22, 8 p.m., 2010