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3 reviews, 38 user ratings

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Cremaster 3
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by Chris Parry

"Is it fair to review a movie you walked out of after an hour? I say YES!"
2 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2003 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL: Cremaster 3 does have a reason to exist. I really disliked it, every self-important, slow moving frame grated against me like a circular sander, driving deeper and deeper into my temple, to the point where I just had to leave, but I can see it has reason to be... for someone out there. Experimental cinema is not normally the kind of thing you'll find playin on cable at 2AM, and indeed I had to venture all the way to Park City Utah to see this, the fifth film in Matthew Barney's series of Cremaster art films. It left me wishing I hadn't.

I should start by saying that I'm clearly not the target audience of the Cremaster series. I could follow that by saying you're not either. In fact, nobody could really lay claim to being the type of person this film is aimed at, unless you wear a black turtleneck, drink coffee products that aren't listed on the Starbucks menu and have received at least one 'cultural grant' over the course of your life.

That pretty much counts all of you out of the picture, I'm thinking.

And yes, it matters. This is not a film with a standard narrative, or any narrative for that matter, it's an arty flick that is guaranteed to go right over your head - unless you spend far too much time talking about symbolism and allegories and the like.

A woman is dug up from the earth and placed into a Chrysler in the Chrysler building. Other cars then enter the room and proceed to destroy the car, demolition derby style. As the cars beat the hell out of the first car, a man goes into the elevator and fills it with cement. Oh, and there's celtic ogres in there somewhere too.

And that's the first half hour.

Now maybe it's just me, but three hours of this stuff just sends me cross-eyed. In fact, you can't even buy these flicks, let alone see them in theaters, since Matt Barney usually only gives out video copies with a purchase of one of his sculptures... which are displayed often in the films.

Those that spent four years of their life watching Kenneth Anger films in college might look down on a chump like myself who finds more meaning in a Hal Hartley flick than a three-hour cinematic 'installation', but I think I'll live. In fact, if I never see another in this series named after the muscle that raises and lowers the testicles, I think I'll be happier for it.

Three hours of your life are too valuable to give them away just to look intellectual for a fleeting moment. Yeah, there's some cool stuff here, but mostly it's art for art's sake.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=6898&reviewer=1
originally posted: 01/25/03 01:30:17
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

7/11/09 Jared Kreiner The most well known chapter of the Cremaster cycle. Sadly, mostly Guggenheim photage. 2 stars
5/15/06 Hu Gives modern art a bad name 1 stars
8/29/05 Nick Kraemer interesting. makes the guggenheim that much better. 4 stars
11/26/04 K R Not even woth of comying it!!! 1 stars
2/16/04 plounger i hated it at first but i can't shake the imagery. i wish i could see it again. 5 stars
2/12/04 Jason Heindl Not quite as good as Cremasters 2 or 5, but still amazing 5 stars
2/05/04 Rose visual vomitus--pretention painted in PUKE! 1 stars
1/06/04 Parma Violets Oh dear, did someone shake Jack's crib? 2 stars
11/21/03 jack Cremasters suck hairy monkey balls. so does Graham. made me poke out my eyes and eat them. 1 stars
11/21/03 steve it made me feel like i was watching really scary ass porn. I feel dirty. 5 stars for fucked 1 stars
11/20/03 Graham First two hours: eminently sucky. Last hour: rocked. Watch Cremasters 1&2 instead. 3 stars
11/14/03 peter griffen this piece of crap sucked. there is no joke, this made angel sanctuary seem ethical 1 stars
11/14/03 Allen what a crap-tastic film. i would have more fun watching monkeys masterbate 1 stars
11/14/03 sally steve mobia is a crackbaby. the movie made me want to poke out my eyes. share some crack 1 stars
11/07/03 Cracka Jack Ted sucks... oh yeah and so does the movie. Both awful. Makes me want to vomit. 1 stars
11/07/03 bill nye why? 1 stars
10/20/03 Magnus Sticking feathers up your but does not make you a chicken 2 stars
8/27/03 joel j. dahl it was beautiful to watch, and to listen to, and to me it seemed like watching dali paint. 4 stars
7/26/03 Jack Talented imagery does not win over the director's immaturity 2 stars
6/19/03 Ted At first I didn't like it, but it grew on me, and now I want to own it. 4 stars
6/06/03 Steve Mobia The best most profound visual work I've seen in years 5 stars
5/30/03 Heather Lovely visuals but has absolutely no meaning or worth, it's trash 1 stars
5/28/03 Eric It's about the visual language man 5 stars
5/28/03 Artist Freak So what's wrong with an occasional film series that IS art for arts sake, Chris? 4 stars
5/27/03 Astra Baxley I loved it! I'm going to get tanked before I go see the next cycle though... 5 stars
5/02/03 Renita Jao Beautiful 5 stars
4/26/03 Bluto McBlurt just because it's different, doesn't mean it's good. Or even average. Or even watchable. 1 stars
4/11/03 Linda many layers, filled with allegory, myth, look up the freemasons-intriguing connection 5 stars
4/05/03 john ted reflection of current culture 1 stars
4/05/03 Michael - not a black turtleneck wearing art student. Do yourself a favor and don't be narrow; it's different, challenging and worth some time. 4 stars
3/30/03 Michael Marston Make this the permanent exhibit at the Guggenheim and build another museum 5 stars
3/29/03 Dazza The exhibition at the Guggenheim is even worse 1 stars
3/28/03 Enrique Martinez Loved it, would like to write more but this won't allow me 5 stars
3/19/03 Patty just saw this at the Guggenheim, interesting and different, plus it had NYXHC in it! 5 stars
3/12/03 Eric Why is everyone so pissed at this guy? Who cares , at lest its something new for a change. 5 stars
3/08/03 Mary Anyone who is an art student will love this movie...or at least pretend to. It sucks! 1 stars
2/23/03 Mims Wright Everything comes together at Guggenheim 4 stars
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  25-Apr-2003 (NR)



Directed by
  Matthew Barney

Written by
  Matthew Barney

  Richard Serra
  Matthew Barney
  Aimee Mullins

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