Barney plays the Entered Apprentice and his opponents include the Order of the Rainbow for Girls (who look a lot like the Rockettes), Agnostic Front and Murphy's Law (two New York Hardcore bands), Aimee Mullins, and Richard Serra. Molten Vaseline, dental surgery, a demolition derby by vintage Chrysler Imperial New Yorker cars and a gorgeous creature who is half-cheetah/half woman all figure in this latest edition of Matthew Barney's fever dream. Much of the action takes place in two New York landmarks, the Chrysler Building and the Guggenheim Museum, as well as at the Saratoga Racetrack (upstate NY), the Giant's Causeway (Ireland) and Fingal's cave (the Scottish Isle of Staffa). Written by
Sujit R. Varma
After the teeth have begun to exit the Apprentice's prolapsed intestine, there is an overhead shot of the hitmen standing around the Apprentice on the dentist's chair. The view of the intestine is slightly blocked by the back of one of the hitmen, but as he shifts from side to side, the teeth are nowhere to be seen. See more »
When I got out of the theater after seeing this movie, I was stuck with one major question: how does one get the financing to make such a movie? How do you sell a movie so unusual to investors?
I must admit I desperately wanted this movie to make sense. I wanted the mason to have a legitimate reason to fill an elevator with concrete, and I wanted this reason explained later on in the movie, but I could tell the answer would never come. I know my expectations were conditioned by years of conventional cinema and storytelling. For this reason alone, Cremaster was worth watching. It stirred me up, exposed me to very personal and thorough symbolism, and made no apologies.
This movie is not cinema as you've come to know it, it's performance art caught on film. I've heard that the artist explains a lot of his symbolism on his website but I'm not sure I want to know, at least for now. I'd rather let the images simmer in my mind for a few weeks and let meaning bubble up. For now, three days after seeing it, I'd say the movie is basically about the powerlessness of the individual against the powers that be and the necessity for an artist to pander to those powers to achieve his vision. This necessity is also the struggle that drives the creative process. Lackeys and employees are numbed by their position, and some of them express themselves in a creative way to alleviate the numbness and feel alive. Whether they succeed or not is not the point.
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