Obsessed With Making Films

“I think everybody would be relieved if it all got done in six weeks and we could say, ‘Look at that!’ But because I get to do it with people I love and it’s my art, I don’t care how long it takes.”

-Wayne Coyne to Billboard, March 8, 2010

The Flaming Lips are making another fiction movie, apparently unrelated to their “instant cult classic” first, Christmas on Mars… and Wayne Coyne has told Billboard they’re “in the process of begging Justin Timberlake to be part of it; if I’m lucky I’ll be able to wear him down in another year.”

Wayne and Justin have reportedly hung out several times since meeting on Top of the Pops in 2003 and Coyne has said he enjoys JT’s unpretentious demeanor (unlike, say, a certain band from Montreal, but we won’t go there… that’s, like, so 2009).  Wayne was recently interviewed by justintimberlake.com, which also commissioned two artists to create portraits of Coyne for their so called Supersonic Portrait of Wayne Coyne from The Flaming Lips … after all, as Timberlake’s site originally put it, “Most global citizens would agree that The Flaming Lips’ frontman Wayne Coyne deserves more than a standard interview.”

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Beyond the quest for celebrity casting, Wayne noted his “only goal was that [he] didn’t have to build space station-looking sets every time [he] wanted to have someone say something”… 

Wayne: “I built those sets myself every time we shot something for “Christmas on Mars” over the seven years we took to make it. This one is set in someone’s house and in a back yard and in a slaughterhouse; all those are available to me right here, so I don’t have to build everything this time.” 

Wait a minute, did he say “slaughterhouse”…

Justin Timberlake is in two other movies in production: The Social Network, about the founding of Facebook, and Yogi Bear.  If Mr. Smooth can pull off the voice of Boo-Boo Bear, there’s no reason he can’t handle slaughterhouse scenes as well…

Talk about Christmas on Mars surfaced in 2000 (May 16, to be nitpicky… although it wasn’t discussed much by the media until the start of 2002 – several months after production had started).  The first trailer emerged in the spring of 2003, announcing a planned release that upcoming Christmas season.  After that schedule notoriously got pushed back several times, it didn’t premeir until Sasquatch 2008.

If this new film has a similar time schedule, look for it around 2017- 2018!
In the meantime, there’s The Flaming Lips latest non-fiction short film, Blastula: The Making of Embryonic, set to premiere at the deadCENTER’s 10th Annual Film Festival on Friday, June 11, 2010.

Additionally, George Salisbury – long-time Flaming Lips’ collaborator of all things visual and co-director (with Wayne) of Blastula: The Making of Embryonic – is looking to interview people who were at The Flaming Lips’ December 7, 1991 Tiger’s Den show.  Do I smell some another project on the history of band in the works??

        … that show is after all the first with Steven Drozd and the only one with Jon Mooneyham on guitar.  After Jonathan Donahue left the band, Mooneyham – who then worked on the Lips visuals – suggested one of their biggest fans take Donahue’s place: Ronald Jones.  Wayne Coyne had another idea – Mooneyham.  It was not to last though: they practised for weeks together but this is the only show with this line-up, which also included cellist Mary Beth Leigh, later a contributor to the Starlight Mints.  Mooneyham’s personality apparently clashed with Wayne and Michael… Ronald (who played the 12/7/91 Tiger’s Den show as well, as a member of one of the opening bands, Snail) was brought in, and the rest is history… 

… we all owe Goalieman707 a big “thanks” for uploading these (and so many more) historic videos!

The Flaming Lips have never been just a group of people who play songs… they’re more an art project co-op that revolves around music.  Wayne in particular seems to have been obsessed with movie making since the band’s early years.  From writing “Godzilla Flick” to using music videos as a medium to experiment with filming to album artwork mimicking movie posters, Coyne’s desire to make movies has always been clear.  Once he had the means to do it (with the relative success of The Soft Bulletin ten years ago) he jumped at the chance.  A decade of accolades, growing creative partnerships and increasing audience sizes later, he’s never been better situated to make a new film…

The Flaming Lips (1993 interview) by Stuart Barr, Wayne Coyne: “If I could, I’d spend five or six years making a movie, and that would be it! It would have visuals, it would have music and you could go and watch it for two hours and come out knowing the secrets of the universe…” 

 The best news so far: Wayne and Steven have reportedly started composing the score for the “slaughterhouse” movie already. 

The worst thought: with all these projects an Embryonic follow-up album doesn’t seem likely any time remotely soon… but then again, with The Flaming Lips one can never be sure what’s just around the corner.

Visit http://www.youtube.com/user/psychexfutureheart for playlists on “Christmas on Mars” and other goodies… and follow at http://twitter.com/FutureHeartDay

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