Tuesday night I saw Christmas on Mars: A Fantastical Film Freakout Featuring the Flaming Lips at the Kraine Theater of the KGB Complex in the East Village. The Flaming Lips started making the film in 2001 and it’s just now getting into theaters after having premiered at the Sasquatch! Music Festival earlier this year. The unique and very appropriate distribution to unusual screening rooms is handled by former Pioneer Theater programmer Ray Privett’s Cinema Purgatorio.

The film is certainly not for everyone (not even the trailer is) but I thought the film and the whole experience were great. Part of the experience is to have the audio at the theater pretty much rock show loud, some audience members were dressed up as Santas…

Watching it made me feel like I was 17 again – hanging out with some other awkward wanna-be artistic and definitely intoxicated teens and watching a tape of some cultish film we’d been hearing about for years… a film that’s so weird and low-fi and liberating and inspirational. Just what you want to see when you’re 17 and are willing to try anything in your creative process and then again years down the road when you might need a reminder again to have fun and be imaginative and free in your process instead of worrying about success, message and likability.
Of course, it can’t hurt if you already have success and creative satisfaction and all that stuff in your other career as a popular and respected musician.

I’m going to skip any comments on production value, character’s arc or acting. It’s a great ride, daring and fun and free-spirited.

So if this could be your thing, you should definitely try to catch it on the screen instead of waiting for the DVD. You can even suggest venues: http://christmasonmars.cinemapurgatorio.com/

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