Christmas on Mars Wayne Coyne

Christmas on Mars Wayne Coyne
The Flaming Lips' long-gestating home movie (of a sort) is like 2001 as directed by Eraserhead-era David Lynch - high on too many ideas with not enough focus and obsessed with birth, death, life cycles and Christmas. Okay, none of that really applies to Kubrick, but the Lips (who star and create the sound design in this Z-grade film made partly in Coyne's Oklahoma City backyard) are clearly big sci-fi fans and won't let a lack of budget, talent or vision stop them. Like Eraserhead, some will decry this as a boring waste of time, while others will spend hours declaring its misunderstood genius. Call me a Lips apologist but I'm tentatively in the latter camp. For me, the ambition of its ideas, incoherent and vague as they might be, along with the gumption of its creation, make up for the cheap look and stone-faced performances. Four mini-interviews and a "making of" where Coyne flips through and holds up pages of his notebook actually provide fascinating context, and the film is subtitled in Russian (for cosmonauts?). A CD features the score, which is much more fully realized than the film itself. (Warner)