The American Astronaut
A low-budget, blue-collar, rockabilly space-western
This low-budget, blue-collar, rockabilly space-western. Is also a musical, and it’s pretty funny, too. Shot in black and white, the film follows a roguish space captain, Samuel Curtis (Cory McAbee), who transports cargo from one place to the next. He’s trailed by Professor Hess (Rocco Sisto), our narrator, a sociopath who kills (almost) everybody in his wake.
Curtis’ travels take him all over the solar system. At the bar on the asteroid Ceres, Curtis gets jumped in the bathroom, hears the longest mis-told joke on film, and enters a dance contest. At the all-male mining colony on Jupiter he picks up The Boy Who Actually Saw a Woman’s Breast (Gregory Russell Cook) and escapes just before Professor Hess shows up with his disintegrator gun. Then it’s on to Venus (inhabited only by women and one well-treated man), but not before hiding out in an orbiting space barn.
The whole movie, including the music, is infused with an odd mix of working-class sensibilities and intellectual irony. In music, if you mix the aggression of hard rock with ironic lyrics, you get something like punk. Add a little country, and you have the music from “The American Astronaut.” Maybe the fact that it’s all so incongruous and puzzling (and still funny) is what makes the movie watchable over repeated viewings. (M. Mapes, Movie Habit)
The American Astronaut
Wed September 20, 2006, 7:00 only, Fiske Planetarium
USA, 2001, in English, Black and White, 91 min
10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission.
$7 w/UCB student ID,
$7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.
Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the
Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters
along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.
Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus
International Film Series
(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.
First Person Cinema
(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.
C.U. Film Program
(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil
Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.
C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts
Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.