Friday, May 22, 2009

so much petroleum jelly...

A Dance for the Queen's Menagerie from Cremaster 5

I just spent my lunch break in the library flipping through the massive Cremaster Cycle scrapbook and watching YouTube clips from Matthew Barney's film cycle on my phone. I attempted an explanation of Cremaster 1 on a short-lived experimental film blog I started a couple years ago.

I don't really know if I like these films more than I am dazzled that they got made. They make dazzlingly beautiful tableau, and maybe not a lot more, but how do you get whaling vessels and Norman Mailer and the Guggenheim and Ursula Andress and the Rockettes to participate in your hallucinogenic epic that very few people can see (as far as I'm aware, there is no commercially available copies of the films.) How do you corral that much money to do something this weird?

An then on the viewer's end: is bourgeoisie scarcity making them better films in my eyes? Would I think they were as cool if I could stream them from NetFlix? Probably. The scarcity factor in experimental film only gets you so far; there needs to be something worth seeing down at the end of the rabbit hole, and I like what I see even if I don't exactly get it.

The Order from Cremaster 3

Theatrical trailer for The Cremaster Cycle

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