Aliens in­vade with blue­grass

Fu­ture Folk’s Jay Klaitz and Nils D’au­lair (pic­tured) rock the red car­pet to open the Gold Coast Film Fes­ti­val, writes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES -

BROAD­WAY veteran Jay Klaitz has packed his shiny red space suit and his banjo to per­form his catchy new sin­gle Space Worms on the red-car­pet at the open­ing of the Gold Coast Film Fes­ti­val tonight.

Klaitz is part of a mu­si­cal group called Acous­tic Space Aliens – now Fu­ture Folk – that had been en­ter­tain­ing New York au­di­ences for the bet­ter part of a decade when film­mak­ers John Mitchell and Jeremy Kipp Walker made a film that ex­plores the mythol­ogy of the alien blue­grass act.

It goes some­thing like this: Nils D’Au­lair’s Gen­eral Trius is sent to Earth to scout the planet be­fore Planet Hondo sends an in­vad­ing party. In­stead, he falls in love with mu­sic learns to play the banjo and sets up a one-man blue­grass.

Klaitz’s assassin Kevin who meets a sim­i­lar fate when he is sent to as­sas­si­nate the gen­eral.

The pair play for laughs singing blue­grass songs with space-themed lyrics at their au­di­ences.

‘‘It’s some­thing we’ve al­ways done on the side for fun­sies on the side. It’s not our full­time job,’’ says Klaitz, who trav­els solo to the Gold Coast be­cause his off­sider has just be­come a dad for the sec­ond time.

‘‘I’m an ac­tor. Nils is in ad­ver­tis­ing, he has a wife and kids. We have our lives and Fu­ture Folk is a cre­ative out­let. We’ve never put pres­sure on our­selves. It’s not like we’re try­ing to get fa­mous with Fu­ture Folk, though if that hap­pened, well wouldn’t that be lovely too?’’

The pair have found new au­di­ences as a re­sult of the film which has been a hit at a string of north Amer­i­can folk fes­ti­vals, the UK and Europe. It makes its Aus­tralian pre­miere at Gold Coast Film Fes­ti­val tonight where au­di­ences will learn just why it has drawn so many com­par­isons to the Kiwi act Flight of the Con­chords.

‘‘I cer­tainly don’t mind com­par­isons be­ing made be­tween us and those guys,’’ says Klaitz.

‘‘I love what they do, though what we do is lit­tle dif­fer­ent. In terms of each episode of Flight of the Con­chords the characters break out of the time line of the story to per­form what look like stan­dalone video clips. With us, the mu­sic hap­pens live within the time line of the story. So it’s not the same, but the com­par­isons keep coming. Flight of the Con­chords. Tena­cious D. I don’t mind.

Klaitz says he will bring a more com­fort­able ver­sion of the shiny red suit he wears in the film, his plat­form boots and his shiny red hel­met.

He looks for­ward to his ap­pear­ance at the Su­panova pop cul­ture expo.

‘‘I dream of the day peo­ple will walking around in my cos­tume as the height of fash­ion,’’ he says.

‘‘The funny thing is when we were shoot­ing the film around the city, there’s was no one out there say­ing, look, what’s go­ing on with that guy there. They could film me in a suit be­ing chased down the street by com­plete strangers . . . this is New York City. Crazy stuff hap­pens there all the time. Not even a cou­ple of crazy space aliens can make peo­ple stop. ’’

The Gold Coast Film Fes­ti­val opens at Birch Car­roll & Coyle Pa­cific Fair, with red-car­pet ar­rivals from 5.40pm. The His­tory of Fu­ture Folk screens tonight at 7pm and Sun­day at 5.30pm.

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