J. Spaceman / Sun City Girls Mister Lonely

Harmony Korine’s third feature film involves a young Michael Jackson impersonator who travels to Scotland to hang out with Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, James Dean and the Pope, among others. So, yes, another dose of the surreal from the eccentric wunderkind, but what deserves to steal the spotlight is the film’s equally far-out score. Hiring both Jason "Spaceman” Pierce and Sun City Girls to muster up suitable music, Korine has scored big here (no pun intended). What’s most fascinating about Mister Lonely is how harmoniously the two sides combine into one body of work, so much so that at times you’ll feel fooled by which song is by whom. Spaceman is downright surprising, most notably with "Panama 1,” a pool of tribal flutes, guitar scratching and feedback that shows there’s a whole lot more to this man than the intergalactic gospel we’re familiar with. More at home is "Pope in the Bath,” a lethargic yet tender lullaby laid down with angelic pianos and sleepy slide guitar. On the flipside, the Girls also turn in poignant moments, best of which is felt in "Mr. Lonely Viola,” a string-led rearrangement of Bobby Vinton’s unforgettable "Lonely.” Despite some eye-opening turns by Pierce and a few standouts that deserve repeat listens, like most scores, Mister Lonely needs the visuals like it needs the audio to truly succeed. Together, though, I can imagine they make a perfect marriage. (Maximum)