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12 user 21 critic

Cremaster 2 (1999)

Unrated | | Drama | 6 July 2005 (France)
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Cremaster 1 (1996)
Short | Fantasy | Musical
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An experimental short film from the Cremaster series which alludes to the position of the reproductive organs during the embryonic development process.

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Cremaster 5 (1997)
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Cremaster 4 (1995)
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An experimental short film from the Cremaster series which alludes to the position of the reproductive organs during the embryonic development process.

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Cremaster 3 (2002)
Drama | Fantasy
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The third film of a five-part art-installation epic -- it's part-zombie movie, part-gangster film.

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Stars: Richard Serra, Matthew Barney, Aimee Mullins
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Set against the backdrop of Carnaval in Salvador, Brazil, the movie cuts between shots of musicians performing on an elevated stage; images of sweaty, often splendidly costumed onlookers; ... See full summary »

Director: Matthew Barney
Stars: Solise Morales, Valter Vicente Pinho Neto, Chelsea Romersa
Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The film concerns the theme of self-imposed limitation and continues Matthew Barney's interest in religious rite, this time focusing on Shinto.

Director: Matthew Barney
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Drama
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In 2007, Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler began a new collaborative project inspired by American author Norman Mailer's 1983 novel Ancient Evenings, set in pharaonic Egypt. The project ... See full summary »

Director: Matthew Barney
Stars: Dave Bald Eagle, Milford Graves, John Buffalo Mailer
Drawing Restraint 7 (Video 1993)
Short
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A video installation in which Satyrs grapple in a limousine as it drives through the tunnels of New York City. While one satyr chases its tail in the front seat, another attempts to make a ... See full summary »

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Destricted (2006)
Drama
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A compilation of erotic films intended to illuminate the points where art meets sexuality.

Directors: Marina Abramovic, Matthew Barney, and 9 more credits »
Stars: Daniel, Goce Balkovic, Shirin Barthel
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The comedy duo's first sketch show, which launched both of their careers.

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A spectacle with elements of performance, fashion show and a parade.

Director: Matthew Barney
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Harry Houdini
... Gary Gilmore
Anonymous ... Baby Fay La Foe
Lauren Pine ... Bessie Gilmore
Scott Ewalt ... Frank Gilmore
... Nicole Baker
Michael Thompson ... Max Jensen
... Johnny Cash (With Drums)
Bruce Steele ... Johnny Cash (With Bees)
Steve Tucker ... Johnny Cash (voice)
Cat Kubic ... Two-step Dancer
Sam Jalhej ... Two-step Dancer
Jacqueline Molasses ... French Bulldog
... Fay La Foe (voice)
James Pantoleon ... Canadian Mountie for Metamorphosis
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Storyline

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Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

The Cremaster Cycle

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Release Date:

6 July 2005 (France)  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,700,000 (estimated)
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Aspect Ratio:

1.77 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Spoofed in Creamistress 6: 'The Centered Polenta' (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

The Man in Black
Music by Jonathan Bepler
Lyrics by Gary Gilmore
Drums by Dave Lombardo
Vocals and Bass by Steve Tucker and 200,000 honeybees
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User Reviews

 
part of a modern art classic
20 March 2004 | by See all my reviews

The Cremaster Cycle 9/10

The Cremaster Cycle is a series of five films shot over eight years. Although they can be seen individually, the best experience is seeing them all together (like Wagner's Ring Cycle) - and also researching as much as you can beforehand. To give you an idea of the magnitude, it has been suggested that their fulfilment confirms creator Matthew Barney as the most important American artist of his generation (New York Times Magazine).

The Cremaster films are works of art in the sense that the critical faculties you use whilst watching them are ones you might more normally use in, say, the Tate Modern, than in an art house cinema. They are entirely made up of symbols, have only the slimmest of linear plots, and experiencing them leaves you with a sense of awe, of more questions and inspirations than closed-book answers. The imagery is at once grotesque, beautiful, challenging, puzzling and stupendous. Any review can only hope to touch on the significance of such an event, but a few clues might be of interest, so for what it's worth ...

Starting with the title. The 'Cremaster' is a muscle that acts to retract the testes. This keeps the testes warm and protected from injury. (If you keep this in mind as you view the piece it will be easier to find other clues and make sense of the myriad allusions to anatomical development, sexual differentiation, and the period of embryonic sexual development - including the period when the outcome is still unknown. The films, which can be viewed in any order (though chronologically is probably better than numerically) range from Cremaster 1 (most 'ascended' or undifferentiated state) to Cremaster 5 (most 'descended'). The official Cremaster website contains helpful synopses.)

Cremaster 2 is told as a gothic western and corresponds to that phase of fetal development when sexual division begins. It features such different images as a classic car in a service station, Bronco-busting cowboys, swarms of bees, a Texan two-step and music ranging from a capella singing to a heavy rock band. Houdini reappears (played by Norman Mailer) and is asked a question about metamorphosis - rather than maintain a position within the 'beehive', does he truly metamorphose and become one with the cage?

The Guggenheim Museum (which houses a parallel exhibition) describes the Cremaster Cycle as "a self-enclosed aesthetic system consisting of five feature-length films that explore processes of creation." As film, the Cremaster Cycle is one to experience in the cinema if you have the opportunity to do so, or to experience and re-experience at leisure on DVD (the boxed set is promised for late 2004 and will be a gem for lovers of art-cinema fusion).


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