Cory McAbee
is not your average indie filmmaker. He's more of a self-taught Renaissance man who paints, writes, composes music, and also directs mind-bending films. At Sundance earlier this year, I had a slot to fill in my schedule and I thought Stingray Sam sounded interesting. Science fiction meets the Western? Sign me up.

What I didn't know was that I would be treated to a bizarre musical that was sliced up into a serialized format, complete with dance numbers, elaborate 60-second long handshakes between partners, and social commentary on everything from the U.S. prison system to tobacco companies. It's great stuff, and the songs will stick with you long after the movie ends.

Cory is no stranger to film festivals, having been at Sundance with three different films. I spoke with Cory at Fantastic Fest, where he was screening Stingray Sam. Check out the full interview after the break.

So I saw Stingray Sam back at Sundance. What did you do to it since then?

We did a couple of color corrections, just tweaks, and some more work on the sound quality, brought up a few things, lowered a few things.

So where are you off to after Austin? Back home?

Minneapolis. I was supposed to go to Moscow but they had some problems with my ... they wanted my passport for a couple of days to get me a visa, but I am using it right now so I wasn't able to give it to them. So fortunately I get to go home.

I have never heard of anybody holding on to a passport like that.

Yeah, it was kind of a weird situation.

Russia is still Russia I guess. So you have been to Austin before?

Yeah. Played here a couple times.

South by Southwest?

Well actually I played at South by Southwest once. They were very rude.

So what is your background? I hadn't seen The American Astronaut. What led you up to Stingray Sam?

I came to making films through painting and music. My first film was an animated short that was accepted into the Sundance Film Festival. It was submitted by a local film festival that was put on down the street from where I lived in San Francisco at the time. So I started making short films.

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CATEGORIES Cinematical