The Order (Cremaster 3)

"Terrible"

The Order (Cremaster 3) Review


There are plenty of us that just aren't going to get Matthew Barney's video art. Ever.

Ten years in the making, his highfalutin "Cremaster Cycle" consists of five films, in no particular order and with no particular story or even dialogue. The Order, a film excerpted from Cremaster 3 (the inexplicable final installment of the five movies) is no exception, though I'll do my best here.

In this vignette, a man (Barney) in a fluffy pink hat, kilt, and with a bloody napkin in his mouth is tasked (by whom? dunno) with climbing to the top of the Guggenheim museum (by scaling the balusters) for reasons unknown. In his way -- sort of -- are a group of Rockettes, an impromptu concert featuring a kind of punk rock version of "less filling, tastes great," an amputee who turns into a cheetah, and a pile of plastic junk. At the top is a guy flinging liquified Vaseline into a channel which runs down the ramps. When it hits bottom, well, something bad may happen. I guess.

I don't know what to say about Barney's work, except to echo what you must be thinking: It's pretentious nonsense, taken to its embarassing extreme in an attempt to pose as a legitimate movie. I am sure it is possible to explain the film via broad interpretation (it's art, after all, not mere cinema), but try and justify it and you'll simply be engaging in random speculation. There's really nothing here aside from some meticulously crafted visuals designed to horrify and repulse you (though neither of these will occur unless you're a total pansy who finds plastic scary), though they are certainly amusing from time to time. Those Rockettes are pretty talented, and amputees always make for a good film.

On DVD, The Order features a multi-angle reworking of the story into a bunch of mini-films, you know, told from multiple angles. Barney offers a commentary that attempts to lend some sense to this mess but basically sounds like a lot of B.S. Sorry, Matthew.

You get it, right?



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