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March 15, 2006 8:05 PM   Subscribe

Matthew Barney, of The Cremaster Cycle fame, has a new film coming out. Starring Bjork and Barney himself, along with a largely Japanese cast, Drawing Restraint 9.

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

"The core idea of Drawing Restraint 9 is the relationship between self-imposed resistance and creativity, a theme it symbolically tracks through the construction and transformation of a vast sculpture of liquid Vaseline, called “The Field”, which is molded, poured, bisected and reformed on the deck of the ship over the course of the film."

Uh huh. If you liked the beautiful weirdness that was TCC, check out the trailer {embedded QT}.
posted by zardoz (28 comments total)
The only problem I have with Barney is that his stuff is so literal. Like, Jesus, hit me over the head with a hammer already!! I GET IT. It's all so obvious.
posted by billysumday at 8:21 PM on March 15, 2006

billysumday: Heh.

I liked The Cremaster Cycle a lot. (Well, some of it... #4 was brutally awful.)
I want to see this, although I would like to punch Bjork in the face.
posted by papakwanz at 8:25 PM on March 15, 2006

Also, his last name is the same as that purple dinosaur.
posted by swift at 8:25 PM on March 15, 2006

I saw it at the Toronto Film Fest. I liked it. I could barely tell what it was about but it was gorgeously shot and captivating. It was brutal too—there were some gory scenes during which a lot of the audience up and left.

Also, I liked the soundtrack enough to order it.
posted by Evstar at 8:28 PM on March 15, 2006

barney, I think, is in the middle of a pretty nasty backlash. He's achieved the kind of success that virtually nobody achieves. He gets monumentally large grants, abling him to make whatever pops into his head with precious little concern for budget, earns a ton of money privately (I think. am I mistaken about that?) is married to one of the most interesting and remarkable women on the planet. He and his wife are capable of working independently and together, now, and actually seem happily married (though appearances can be deceiving, I suppose.) He shows in the most prestigious locations, and has even (if I remember correctly) turned the entire gugenheim into an installation.

there are a lot of people who can't believe that he's talented enough to deserve ALL of that. it's like that kid in high school who won ALL the achievement awards, and you're like "christ. yes, he's smart, but give someone else SOMETHING for fuck's sake."

either way, I'm excited to see this, and jealous as all hell.
posted by shmegegge at 8:41 PM on March 15, 2006

posted by OU812 at 9:23 PM on March 15, 2006

barney, I think, is in the middle of a pretty nasty backlash.

From who? I was wondering what his audience is, like to whoever I talk to who follows film closely Cremaster comes up occasionally but never with the fever I hear when discussing people like Tarkovsky, Lynch, Cronenberg (on preview, Greenaway) or anyone else in the art film vein.

Also, listening to the Cremaster 3 dvd (I got a torrent of the entire cycle a few weeks ago, it's on my "to do" list) I liked how Matthew Barney wasn't shy about what stuff represented and would explain all the aspects of freemasonry he was trying to include.
posted by bobo123 at 9:27 PM on March 15, 2006

The film concerns the theme of self-imposed limitation

That's interesting, coming from a guy who apparently has no limits. He thinks it, they film it, with little bother for financial or environmental concerns. The man eats chutzpah for breakfast.
posted by fungible at 9:39 PM on March 15, 2006

actually, this excellent post mentions one person. But really, I think it's largely from established artists who wish they had his accolades/money/renown/wife/etc...

as far as the other guys, I think of barney as more of a museum style art film maker, where those guys are more like art-house filmmakers. I don't know if that makes any sense. Tarkovsky could be seen at your local art house theater, sometime. lynch, for example, is straight up commercial (I like a bunch of his movies, but when I realized how much of his "artsy" camera and post-production technique is ripped off of folks like Stan Brakhage, I stopped thinking of his work as art.) and cronenberg has gotten national theater distribution for making straight up narrative commercial features. (I don't say that as a slight, but just a distinction between him and barney.)

I would certainly put greenaway in a similar class with barney, but again you'll find The Pillow Book, Prospero's Books and 8 1/2 Women at blockbuster, but not cremaster. (It's actually only availabe on dvd as selections from the cycle. you have to go to a screening to see the whole thing.) I suppose I'm simply making a differentiation between intended audience and the emphasis of the work. Barney's work, to me at least (and I could be wrong), has always seemed to me to sort of exclude non-art folk. Greenaway's is obviously appreciable by high art film fans but is also loved by people I know who love commercial narrative film and don't know anything about experimental film.

I suppose that's what I mean when I say "art house" film. If you have an independent or art house theater in your area, you can go and appreciate any number of wonderful art films, but cremaster isnt' likely to make an appearance because he tours around the world showing one of the only prints of his cycle in one theater in a major city for a period of time and moves on. But fellini prints abound and any number of theaters in the world can run nostalgic festivals where they show him to their heart's content.

I hate saying things like this, which is why I keep clarifying my statements and using parentheticals. I'm not an expert, and what I say shouldn't be seen as gospel and I don't intend it as such. I'm just trying to share my point of view. I hope it makes sense. Hell, I haven't even seen a screening myself, because I either a) have no money when they're around or b) don't hear about them in time or whatever. Everything I know about him I've learned from the internet and that one dvd.
posted by shmegegge at 9:49 PM on March 15, 2006

Holy shit I had no idea a torrent of the Cremaster Cycle had finally made it out. Hot Damn!
posted by futureproof at 10:01 PM on March 15, 2006

Press Release: The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) will present the exhibition Matthew Barney: DRAWING RESTRAINT from June 23 through September 17, 2006. SFMOMA will be the sole U.S. venue for this full-scale survey, the first to gather all of Barney’s work to date made under the title DRAWING RESTRAINT. The exhibition charts the trajectory of this ongoing series—currently featuring twelve installments—which spans work from 1987 to the present. Barney’s newest full-length film, DRAWING RESTRAINT 9 (2005), as well as its accompanying sculptures, drawings, and photographs, also will be on view. Bringing together more than 150 objects in a wide range of media, this major survey presentation provides new research into this intricate body of work, offering a fresh perspective on Barney’s opulent visual language and elaborate cosmology.
posted by hartsell at 11:33 PM on March 15, 2006

A dissenting voice, from this previous Mefi post.
posted by johnny novak at 12:22 AM on March 16, 2006

I was wondering what his audience is

Much more of a visual art audience than a film audience, and I doubt he'd describe himself as a 'film maker'.

I got a torrent of the entire cycle a few weeks ago

Smother me in vaseline and call me a Mason - where?! They've always been horribly hard to find (because you have to buy the DVDs encased in some manner of glass construction for tens of thousands of dollars, IIRC).
posted by jack_mo at 5:12 AM on March 16, 2006

/me smothers jack_mo in vaseline and calls him a mason

Now where's my grant, huh?
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:44 AM on March 16, 2006

I think in a discussion over what constitutes an art film or an art film-maker its important to add a third (however unesclusive) category to the binary museum-art-film/art-house-film relationship Shmeggege establishes, and that would be filmmakers who began their careers or continue as plastic artists in addition to their film work. Greenaway certainly fits this description (he painted 92 maps for A Walk Through H), so does Lynch (who started using film to animate his sculptures/paintings), Takeshi Kitano took up painting after a motorcycle accident, and so on. All that is just to say at a certain point dividing up the category art film ad infinitum can approach an exercise in futility(sound). Of course, that doesn't make it any less fun to talk about art films....
posted by jrb223 at 7:03 AM on March 16, 2006

I had the chance to see Matthew Barney a couple of years back.

What blew me away was how inarticulate and wooden he was in the presentation of HIS OWN FUCKING ART.

Ever since that day I've been at war with Barney.
He's taken posing to a whole new level.

You may wish for it to hold some greater meaning, but the irony of new conceptualism is that the concept is lost on the creator.
posted by isopraxis at 7:42 AM on March 16, 2006

( **by creator I mean the person making the art - not the Flying Spaghetti Monsterism.)
posted by isopraxis at 7:51 AM on March 16, 2006

I got to walk through Barney's installation at the Walker in Minneapolis again a couple days ago. The first time I saw it was after watching The Order. The second time didn't seem nearly as fresh when I hadn't seen the video work.
posted by mikeh at 8:24 AM on March 16, 2006

It's like if you go to Yale people will just give a camera to film something.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 8:32 AM on March 16, 2006

"Here, you went to Yale, do something with this thing!"
posted by The Jesse Helms at 8:32 AM on March 16, 2006

or a presidency.

posted by shmegegge at 11:23 AM on March 16, 2006

I saw the last Cremaster film (the last one to be completed, that is). I was underwhelmed. Much of the imagery was beautiful, but the film felt sterile. It could have been a series of photographs -- it sure didn't need to be 3.5 hours long.

Tarkovsky's films are slow, but they are still narratives. He uses the time dimension in interesting ways -- stretches it beyond what one would ordinarily think was possible -- and yet his stories are compelling.

Barney doesn't really tell stories. He presents tableaux. Greenaway would indeed be the most apt comparison. I am not a Greenaway fan, generally, but even he is a more interesting filmmaker, because he does tell stories, however thin and problematic they are.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 1:51 PM on March 16, 2006

I got a torrent of the entire cycle a few weeks ago

Including a complete print of the third film? Every one I've found in the past seems to be just the relatively small chunk that was released on DVD, though I've found complete versions of the other films.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 2:08 PM on March 16, 2006

Including a complete print of the third film?

Seven files, three for Cremaster 3 called CD1, CD2 and CD3 each runs about an hour. CD3 looks similar to the DVD, though the files look like they were copied from VHS at VCD quality, I'm guessing the complete thing runs around 7 hours.
posted by bobo123 at 2:28 PM on March 16, 2006

well, I'm getting a torrent of it, now. we'll see how it comes out, I guess.
posted by shmegegge at 3:38 PM on March 16, 2006

married to one of the most interesting and remarkable women on the planet

I know this may be off topic, but can someone fill me in on what the appeal of bjork is?
posted by papakwanz at 9:50 PM on March 16, 2006

I think it is the j that sounds like a y.

Personally I would find it 90% more appealing if it were pronounced beejourk
posted by isopraxis at 9:23 AM on March 17, 2006

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