directed by Cory McAbee
Sometimes, a film is so easy to describe that you take it for granted.
5 teenagers spend Saturday detention shattering stereotypes and realizing that they all have more in common than they assumed.
And that’s not in any way a negative statement about the film, just a fact.
And sometimes, a film takes a little more than a mere sentence to describe. Think Mulholland Drive or The City of Lost Children. Again, in no way is this a negative statement about the film.
And then there are films like The American Astronaut, Cory McAbee’s epically epic tale of a space trader tasked with bringing a real human girl specimen to a bleak outpost on Jupiter. On Jupiter, the space trader (named Samuel Curtis) decides to make a trade for a famous figure in the region, the boy who actually saw a woman’s breast- you know what? I’m going to just stop right there and command the oft-uttered, time honored phrase, “You just have to see it to know what I’m talking about.” Cory McAbee is, aside from being a very colorful character in the artistic world, a singular genius when it comes to conveying his vision to screen. The story of Samuel Curtis and his exploits has a very Daughn Gibson-esque vibe (Gibson’s excellent debut record, All Hell was featured on OMFBC for some time), a story of adventure and loneliness tinged with weary, isolated desperation. The American Astronaut was a game changer upon its release, a piece of outsider art that wrapped its weird, comforting arms around you like an estranged but badass and instantly lovable uncle. As I blather on, I realize that I won’t be able to suitably do this film justice, so to phrase I return:
You just have to see it.