It took the Flaming Lips seven years to finish their film “Christmas on Mars,” so it’d stand to reason that frontman Wayne Coyne is a perfectionist. But all he really wants to do is give his fans something cool to watch.
“Christmas on Mars,” which stars Coyne and his Lips bandmates Steven Drozd and Michael Ivins and arrives this week via Warner Bros., was shot on the cheap in and around the band’s native Oklahoma City. It revolves around the first holiday season on the freshly colonized Red Planet; Drozd is Major Sytris, who aims to marshal Christmas cheer with a big pageant, but a series of events threaten the survival of the colonists, much less their holiday plans. Coyne plays a friendly Martian who offers his assistance.
“If you were to watch a David Lynch movie with someone, you’d experience these moments where music, story and abstract bullsh*t came together,” Coyne says by way of comparison. “You’d understand it, but you couldn’t explain it to somebody else. It’s like an unspeakable language.”
The Lips also created an original score for the film. “Elements of it sound very much like Bernard Herrmann in a room with Igor Stravinsky, and they hashed out, ‘You take this scene, I’ll take this scene,'” Coyne says.