New York Times recently applauded Matthew Barney as the most important American artist of his generation. Since his graduation from Yales in 1989, he has explored the world of art, including drawings, sculptures, photography and video installations. When migrating into narrative-art house cinema, he brings all these elements with him.The Cremaster Cycle is an epic work of art, named after the automatic Cremaster muscle, which regulates the position of the testicles in the male body. It’s an ambitious and very bizarre avant-garde film saga, dealing with the progress of sexual differentiation of the foetus, from the most undifferentiated state to the most differentiated right before birth. From this perspective, Barney explores the creation of form. He does it in the modes of the gothic westerns and Celtic legends all melted together. His characters are as diverse as copulating bees, battling punk bands, various fantasy creatures, murderer Gary Gilmore (played by Barney himself) and Harry Houdini, portrayed by author Norman Mailer. And as Houdini’s mother we see former Bond-babe Ursula Andress.It’s surreal, very beautiful and truly frightening at times. If a comparison is necessary it might be with an early David Lynch, only even more stretched. But this really is Matthew Barney’s unique project; he wrote, directed and produced also acts in all five Cremaster movies, which together form The Cremaster Cycle.JONAS GUSTAFSSON

Title
The Cremaster Cycle
Director
Matthew Barney
Country
USA
Length
41 min
Festival
2003
Section
Collage
Language
English
Production year
2003
Cast
Ursula Andress,Richard Serra,Norman Mailer
Producer
Matthew Barney
Script
Matthew Barney
Music
Jonathan Bepler

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See all films from the 2003 festival