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 »
Imagine yourself you're in a museum enjoying a celebrated piece of work from, say, Picasso. You stare longingly at it encapsulated by it's beauty. But you see after a while, at the end of the day, it will only ever be a inanimate panting. This is the cinematic version of that painting.
Cremaster is a film I've been interested in for years. Ever since I found out about when I was 13, I've been curious as too what it was like. Of course, Cremaster is incredibly rare and extremely difficult to find so it took me many years before I could find a copy of Cremaster 3. But thanks to the internet, I was able to procure a copy that was floating around somewhere. And was my curiosity satisfied after searching for so long? The short answer is no.
The long answer is no but with a slight shade of yes. I really feel a film such as Cremaster does not deserve a rating. Not to say it's such a bad film, it doesn't deserve a rating but because the way the film is structured and the narrative conventions it uses, it doesn't feel like it needs any sort of rating.
Cremaster 3 is a motherfucking chore of a movie to get through. At three hours long with certain sequences going well past ten minutes, even the most patient of cinema buffs will feel agitated watching. Because I watched on a computer, I skipped past most of the movie, feeling that there would be little lost in not watching a certain scene. But this is the first of many unconventional conventions embodied in the film.
Such conventions as dialogue and story are simply thrown out the window. In fact, I couldn't interpret a story for this film even if I tried. So I won't. However, I was under the impression that the lack of a plot would make for a thinking man's night out, unfortunately I was wrong. It is really a task sitting through this film not feeling the sheer boredom of being unable to decipher the happenings of the film and trying to understand what is going on.
It is not a complete loss though. For me, the cinematography is, without a doubt, the finest I've ever seen before. Especially in a scene such as the Guggenheim museum, it is one of the most beautiful works of cinematography to ever grace the silver screen.
But film is a not an artwork in the way paintings are artworks. Films are not meant to be stared at, they are meant to be watched and felt. And I just could not feel Cremaster. My eyes were amazed at the gorgeous cinematography of the film but my brain was bored at the empty plot and non-linear turn of events.
In essence, you can give Cremaster a shot. However, if you do not wish to suffer through three hours of pretension, I highly recommend you find The Order: Cremaster 3 on DVD instead. Consisting of the highly celebrated Guggenheim museum sequence, it is, for me, the only worthy sequence of the entire film.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?