I saw a few of these close together, below I’m writing for 2 but with a mind on the enterprise in general.
So in the Cremaster cycle, I think the whole starts to tear the further we move away from the feminine absolute. There’s already signs of breakage in just the second entry. This is, I believe, because as a sculptor Barney has natural intuitions about cinematic space, so at its best the work is pregnant with a feel and subdued, but as a guy and thinker – like most of our species – he is a blowhard.
So it’s not enough to be quietly effective. He has to think big and show bigger. He has to have cool insights that hint at things of importance.
You will need no better clue than the guys he has chosen to surround himself with here, all of them tribal tokens. Dave Lombardo has a drum session, a really cool figure to have in your art film that shows you are not effete. Steve Tucker bellows into a phone. And of course no one cooler than Norman Mailer. Barney himself plays killer Gary Gilmore.
But wait, I get that this is meant to be about the onset of male aggression, so the figures have their proper place. Mailer wrote the book and all that. But it has to be Dave Lombardo and not just some drummer, don’t you see? It’s all a matter of association, as well and (skin)deep as choosing to wear a specific band’s t-shirt.
So here’s the overall problem with Cremaster; I believe they were conceived in terms of space first, solid sculpted space communicating the air around the matter. He decided for whatever reason to make films around the actual objects, to be sold together, and because a story would be too ordinary, he came up with the testicular concept, as silly as that, for a map and to give him a pattern to sculpt to, ovaries, penises, vaginal tunnels. The copies made would be limited, 10 of each package, so important enough to own, another tribal token of underground music. Later, he could have the chance to explain that all of that also substitutes for the creative process and has personal value (a less precocious insight is that every film reflects its creative mind, down to Bay’s Transformers).
So look what happens. The film itself is the air around the things he wants to present and that air, let’s say the breath of the camera as it dissects space, has appealing qualities. It resonates with a female mystery, nearly transcendent, discovered.
You should know, however, that when the Buddhist – or any spiritual practice – speaks of transcendence, the word is not vaguely synonymous with any other superlative, the ‘ecstacy’ is always a transcendence of self; a transcendence of who you think you are and what you think you have to say, all of that conscious effort about propping up a self. In practical terms, it means Marienbad. It means The Passenger.
So the film works in the way it was put together, in this being sculpted with a camera. But when we reach the stage where the form in front of that camera has to mean something, all of that associative context is bogus. None of it cultivated with deep intuition.
Our insight is that the landscape does reflect its creative mind. In our case, all of it is ego satisfied at its own erection. It’s Kubrick with Guggenheim pretensions. It’s Greenaway without the sometimes deep thinker in Greenaway.
What say you Mubi?
I haven’t seen this yet and really want to…. !
Cool that you’ve started a thread on it. Curious to see what other say about it.
Agh!! Glad I saw this topic. Ruby and I had plans on discussing it on here but I still haven’t watched it yet. I’ll try doing it this week, so I might have some comments soon!!
All I can say at this moment is that my friend went to see Cremaster Cycle exhibited and all she had to say about it was,
that’s funny.^ two words that pretty well sum up what the first poster said
Our insight is that the landscape does reflect its creative mind. In our case, all of it is ego satisfied at its own erection.
i’ve only watched the first part and it was…interesting but after this analysis i’m not sure i wanna waste my time
It’s an elaborate construction, but the space is largely empty.
Cool that others are joing in. I don’t want to dissuade anyone from watching, all of it has interesting elements, and at least Part 1 is quite something, but overall I think it may test your threshold for self-absorbed bollocks.
Goodyear plane arriving to stadium…
That’s honestly my first inclination, but I figure I should give it a shot.
After seeing them i thought that i can used them in a party like, putting some screens and that could be a conversation starter or something.
HA HA HA HA
I’m not sure whether that is a compliment or an insult to Barney… :P
It’s in between…hahaha
@ Ruby: I saw the first 2 parts in the theater, and the portion of part 3 that’s on DVD. This is really not my sort of thing, but I will say that 1st part was by far the least interesting to me., and the 2nd part my favorite.
Not really knowing what it was, I got my roommate at the time to go with me. Poor guy :)
I’m downloading these sometime soon. I saw a portion of part 3 as a teenager (Aimee Mullins FTW) and would have seen all five when they were playing at MFA-Houston in the mid-2000s if I’d had the money/wasn’t with my parents. I love good films about sexuality, and these sound like they’d be worth seeing for the visuals alone even if the ideas behind them are weaksauce.
I will definitely follow this thread and contribute once I start getting into the cycle.