3 user 5 critic

River of Fundament (2014)

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 »


Matthew Barney


Matthew Barney, David Grimm (additional dialogue written and adapted by)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Dave Bald Eagle ... Norman III
Milford Graves Milford Graves ... Norman II
John Buffalo Mailer ... Norman I
Ellen Burstyn ... Hathfertiti
Maggie Gyllenhaal ... Hathfertiti
Madyn Greer Coakley ... Hathfertiti (as Madyn Coakley)
Paul Giamatti ... Ptah-Nem-Hotep
Joan La Barbara Joan La Barbara ... The Widow of Norman
Stephen Payne Stephen Payne ... Usermare
Aimee Mullins ... The Ka of Norman / Isis
Matthew Barney ... The Ka of Norman / Osiris: James Lee Byars
Jennie Knaggs Jennie Knaggs ... Nephthys
Eugene Perry Eugene Perry ... Set
Herbert Perry Herbert Perry ... Set
Brennan Hall Brennan Hall ... Horus


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 was conceived as a nontraditional opera with a series of one-time-only live acts performed across the American landscape. The film River of Fundament combines documentation of these three live acts with scenes set in a reconstruction of Norman Mailer's brownstone apartment in Brooklyn Heights. Barney and Bepler's script reimagines Mailer as his own protagonist who reincarnates three times in three different bodies by magically entering the womb of his wife Hathfertiti. With each incarnation the undead Norman emerges from a river of feces that runs beneath his Brooklyn Heights apartment and enters his own wake. Imagined as a memorial gathering attended by figures in the New York literary world, the wake takes place inside the Mailer apartment as it is ferried down the river. Guests eulogize Mailer and ... Written by Mike Bellon

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



User Reviews

Avant Garde Scat Porno Opera with an All-Star Cast
19 December 2015 | by whirrrrlSee all my reviews

This is a pornographic avant-garde scatological Egyptian-lite opera with an all-star cast, so if that is your cup of filth, you might enjoy it. However it runs six hours long, so even people who want to see the 'Woody Allen' sequence with a star-studded Brooklyn Heights literary cameo crew for a Mailer memorial wake will then have to sit through eternal slow moments of slurping genitalia, penetration, rotting pig flesh, flies and maggots, anal penetration with plumbing pipes, and excrement wrapped in gold leaf. The theater I saw this film in was not full -- and that did not bode well since the director would soon be present for a Q&A! Let me say this: It's time for Matthew Barney to focus on Children's Fairy Stories. I think he could remake 'Into The Woods' or 'Hansel & Gretel' properly. This film just looked like...what's that four-letter word that starts with S and ends with T?

16 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 3 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.


Official Sites:

Official site




English | Spanish

Release Date:

12 February 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

River of Fundament See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,938, 6 December 2015

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Laurenz Foundation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (including two intermissions)


See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed