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The Order - From Matthew Barney's Cremaster 3 (2002)

Cast: Richard Serra, Matthew Barney, Aimee Mullins, more...
Director: Matthew Barney
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Lions Gate
Genre: Experimental/Avant-Garde
Running Time: 151 min.
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This title is currently out of print.

Cremaster 3 is the final installment of the five-part epic film cycle from director and sculpture artist Matthew Barney. Encompassing a dizzying number of themes, this elaborately stylized experimental film showcases Barney's affinity for architecture and sex. Much of the highly symbolic imagery involves Celtic mythology and phallic references, with Barney himself appearing as the Entered Apprentice and sculptor Richard Serra playing architect Hiram Abiff. Some of the settings include the Chrysler Building in New York City, the Saratoga race track, and the Guggenheim museum ( where much of Barney's work is actually shown). Spatially driven rather than narratively, the film is a display of visual effects and impulses with little to no dialogue. All five parts of the film cycle (titled out of sequence) can be seen at art galleries, though Barney has been known to give out video copies with the purchase of his sculptures. Cremaster 3 was shown in the Frontier program at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

outstandingly strange by scarabin November 5, 2005 - 6:33 AM PST
2 out of 5 members found this review helpful
while the title "cremaster" sounds like a cross between a kitchen appliance and a horror movie, this film is definitely not a kitchen appliance or a horror movie.

it is, in fact, one of the most challenging, baffling, beautiful, raw, and unsettling art installations i've seen.

definitely well worth your time if you're into bizarre performance art.

Footnotes! Vaseline! Action! by JPielaszczyk February 13, 2004 - 1:36 PM PST
6 out of 8 members found this review helpful
The clipped cadences and dry, Anglicized speech inflections of the ex-kid from St. Louis, T.S. Eliot, on the recording of his "The Waste Land" came to mind upon viewing "The Order." The chunky allusions--and two or three foreign languages to boot--to Authorian legend, the Fisher King, mixtures of dull roots and spring rain, memory and desire. This was no ditty!

Similarly, Matthew Barney seeks to establish beyond doubt the inconveivable purity of his intent. Calvin Tomkins' Janury 27, 2003, profile in "The New Yorker," "His Body, Himself," got me curious. " . . . Barney . . . uses autobiographical material, landscape, biology, architecture, dramatic actions, private fantasies, classical myths, elaborate costumes, prosthetic devices, and transforming makeup to create worlds that are unlike any you'll see at the multiplex." Yes! Plus the Chrysler Building as a main character. In sheer audaciousness, this is one very liberating film.

More from Tompkins: "Hanging over the sculpture were five television monitors, arranged pentagonally, on which the five "Cremaster" films would run continuously during the three weeks . . ."

This DVD contains the excellent trailer to the Cremaster cycle, which is certainly dense enough for more than one viewing. (The trailer can also be downloaded easily enough from the Web.) Consider watching The Order (perhaps a half hour long) with the director's narration before or after the original version, or vice versa.

The Vaseline that sculptor Richard Serra melted is nearly all the way down the Guggenheim's spiral gutter so I'm outta here.

This title is currently unavailable on disc or is no longer in-print.

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(Average 6.74)
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