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Cory McAbee's odd creative output
September 2, 2010 10:28 PM   Subscribe

I totally overlooked The American Astronaut (2001) and perhaps others did too? Musician and indie filmmaker Cory McAbee has a history as a huge misshapen head, has been to Reno, been a lounge act for the seedier offworld colonies, been smuggling illegal female embryos for the Jovian mining concerns, & been a father.

McAbee's 2-man interplanetary ships tend towards diesels with 1905 wallpaper ...and porcelain washbasins for when you're not dry-shaving to please the ladies. He offers a unique take on the asteroid miners' spaceport bar and their all-male pastimes. He reminds us that regardless of future genetic catastrophes, still we'll always have male pregnancy. And what's up with the odd religion practiced by those hypersapient zero-G Nevada silver miners? Yes, I too need to know about Th' CHART. More recently we find that Stingray Sam is not a hero, but he does do the things that folks won't do that need to be done. McAbee's stuff is available online; I'm picking up my copies now, so he won't have to hurt me.
posted by billb (28 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
Hertz, donut.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:49 PM on September 2, 2010


Needs a "vagina made of glass" tag... Actually the whole soundtrack for The American Astronaut is pretty enjoyable.
posted by pkingdesign at 11:04 PM on September 2, 2010


it's 'McAbee".
posted by quiteliterally at 11:13 PM on September 2, 2010


steampunk avant garde?
I'm in love.
posted by aloiv2 at 11:19 PM on September 2, 2010


The movie isn't nearly as much of a musical as I was led to expect.
posted by kenko at 11:20 PM on September 2, 2010


Soooo good! Thx for raising the profile of this important work.
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:22 AM on September 3, 2010


pkingdesign: “Needs a "vagina made of glass " tag... Actually the whole soundtrack for The American Astronaut is pretty enjoyable.”

It was all right, but for a glaring omission.
posted by koeselitz at 12:23 AM on September 3, 2010


I saw Stingray Sam a few months ago at a film festival and loved it. I got the soundtrack and still get the Peg-legged Father song stuck in my head :) And the Fredward song too, although it's easy to just make up my own lyrics to that one.
posted by harriet vane at 1:02 AM on September 3, 2010


> it's "McAbee"

crap!

yes, search finds more with the extra 'a' removed. Ceres walk with portable cat environment. And then there's Rio Yeti in book form.
posted by billb at 2:20 AM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, how I love Cory McAbee. I never know if I want everyone in the world to see American Astronaut or if I want it to be my own dirty infectious homoerotic little secret. I've been slowly building a microscopic theater space in my giant novelty stomach-remedy advertising clock tower and there's never been any doubt in my mind that the first film in a giant novelty clock tower film series would have to be AA (possibly in a double bill with La jetée). Reading this post, I just took a moment to revisit McAbee's site, and his screening terms clinched it.

What did your father teach you?
posted by sonascope at 3:09 AM on September 3, 2010


Highly recommend seeing the Billy Nayer show live if ever you get a chance. Drummer like an octopus, and very effective heavy-metal autoharp.
posted by Erroneous at 3:50 AM on September 3, 2010


I have the Mars song from Stingray Sam on my mp3 player and it never fails to get me in a great mood. Thanks for reminding me to get the DVDs!
posted by zix at 6:29 AM on September 3, 2010


cory mcabee is most probably a genius, and unless i'm missing something, the guy just can't get a break. i went to a screening of the american astronaut, followed by a performance of the billy nayer show. less than a dozen people in the audience, and as i'm waiting at the bar for the show to start, ned sublette, who i 'knew' only because of his cowboy rumba cd, walked in and took a seat beside me. we had a brief chat before the lights dimmed and the movie started--to all seven or so of us in attendance. i think ned stayed long enough to see his part as henchman #2, and slipped out before the end of the show.

i saw BNS one other time, and i think there were about 4 of us in the audience then. i hung around after the show long enough to hear the bar owner tell cory, 'i can't pay you. we didn't make any money.'

a few years ago, BNS re-branded as the american astronaut as a band name. the 4-song ep is actually pretty damn good (especially goodbye california). i don't think they ever caught a break, either, and i'm not sure how (or if?) they're gigging anymore.
posted by msconduct at 6:36 AM on September 3, 2010


My friend turned me on to American Astronaut and I loved it. Stingray Sam is great as well. Cory is a national treasure.
posted by Legomancer at 6:46 AM on September 3, 2010


Is it just me, or do my balls itch?
posted by komara at 6:52 AM on September 3, 2010


[Fixed the spelling.]
posted by cortex at 6:56 AM on September 3, 2010


Stuff like this makes me love America over and over again.
posted by The Whelk at 7:11 AM on September 3, 2010


Cory's on Twitter, for those interested. Supposedly he's working on something new.
posted by vibrotronica at 7:21 AM on September 3, 2010


One of the shibboleths I use when meeting new people (sliding it casually into a what-do-you-like conversation) is "Have you seen The American Astronaut? What did you think of it?" I love this movie and BNS an unreasonable amount. Thanks for the post.
posted by penduluum at 7:28 AM on September 3, 2010


The American Astronaut is basically a documentary about what life would be like for men if there were no women around.

The friend who introduced me to the movie once had a job that involved driving Steve Buscemi home from a movie set every night. He somehow managed to loan a copy of The American Astronaut to Buscemi, who watched it and loved it.
posted by deafmute at 9:10 AM on September 3, 2010


the seedier offworld colonies >>,

Groan. Why would someone show me a red-tinted picture of the Moon and say it's Mars when there are so many pictures of the actual Mars they could have used and avoided me considering them stupid in the first 30 seconds of the video?
posted by aught at 1:21 PM on September 3, 2010


> my own dirty infectious homoerotic little secret

That's always my alarm bell for: is this already on MeFi?
Maybe IT'S NOT!
posted by billb at 1:55 PM on September 3, 2010


Metafilter: my own dirty infectious homoerotic little secret
posted by The Whelk at 2:02 PM on September 3, 2010


I have no idea how I stumbled onto The American Astronaut, but I am so glad I did. Thanks for spreading the word.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 2:56 PM on September 3, 2010


The Ham Song! Jesus. I saw that about... 10 years ago maybe, at Cinequest. It's haunted me ever since. Now I have to watch his feature, clearly.
posted by chairface at 4:02 PM on September 3, 2010


MY FATHER TAUGHT ME TO KILL THE SUNFLOWER
posted by unknowncommand at 9:35 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


aught: “Groan. Why would someone show me a red-tinted picture of the Moon and say it's Mars when there are so many pictures of the actual Mars they could have used and avoided me considering them stupid in the first 30 seconds of the video?”

Yeah, I have a feeling you wouldn't like the movie, then (assuming you haven't seen it). I sure didn't, and I had that same reaction most of the way through. I seem to be relatively alone, though; which is good - it's nice when people really like things, and it wasn't so bad. Just... not my style, I guess. Didn't like the dialogue, and it seemed like the sets were intentionally unimaginative. I think that was part of the aesthetic, though; a 'low-budget' feel, and a sort of rough-hewn setting.
posted by koeselitz at 11:38 PM on September 3, 2010


> show me a red-tinted picture of the Moon and say it's Mars

Fantasy authors pull that stuff intentionally: it's not your Mars. It's HIS Mars. Perhaps more twisted if he'd used a red-tinted photo of Ganymede...
posted by billb at 8:26 PM on September 4, 2010


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