Astronauts with vaginas for faces, a baby’s head crushed like a watermelon, Fred Armisen singing “Silent Night”– the Flaming Lips’ maiden foray into DIY filmmaking, Christmas on Mars, features no lack of bizarro imagery for fans who’ve been patiently waiting the past seven years for its release. The film essentially encompasses everything Wayne Coyne has ever sung about– the future, outer space, stressed-out scientists, heroism, insanity, the inevitability of death, hope in the face of disaster, the perseverance of the human spirit, mankind’s miniscule standing in the universe at large, and, yes, Christmas. And as ridiculous as the idea of Coyne making a sci-fi film in his backyard may be, it was a logical step for a band that’s historically found its stage-show inspiration in the local hardware store. But compared to the orgiastic circus of balloons, confetti, and dancing mascots that has come to define the the Flaming Lips’ live set-up,Christmas on Mars is a starkly rendered, sometimes ponderous, rather bleak affair. Starring multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd as a Mars-station major trying to salvage Christmas celebrations on the red planet after a Santa-suited colleague’s suicide, and Coyne as the mute alien who helps him, the film plays like a 2001 that looks like it cost $2,001 to make. Read the rest of this entry ?