- Original title
The Cremaster Cycle: Cremaster 1
- Running time
- 40 min.
- United States
Gemma Bourdon Smith,
Musical | Experimental Cinema. Surrealism. Half-length Film. Independent Film (US)
- Movie Groups
The Cremaster Cycle
- Official Site
- Synopsis / Plot
- The Cremaster Cycle is a sequence of five films by Matthew Barney, entitled Cremaster 1 to Cremaster 5 which create a self-enclosed aesthetic system. The conceptual departure point for the cycle is the male cremaster muscle, and the films are filled with anatomical allusions to reproductive organs and the process of sexual differentiation.
CREMASTER 1 (1995) is a musical revue performed on the blue Astroturf playing field of Bronco Stadium in Boise, Idaho - Barney's hometown. Two Goodyear Blimps float above the arena like the airships that often transmit live sporting events via television broadcast. Four air hostesses tend to each blimp. The only sound is soft ambient music, which suggests the hum of the engines. In the middle of each cabin interior sits a white-clothed table, its top decorated with an abstract centerpiece sculpted from Vaseline and surrounded by clusters of grapes. In one blimp the grapes are green, in the other they are purple. Under both of these otherwise identical tables resides Goodyear (played by Marti Domination). Inhabiting both blimps simultaneously, this doubled creature sets the narrative in motion. After prying an opening in the tablecloth(s) above her head, she plucks grapes from their stems and pulls them down into her cell. With these grapes, Goodyear produces diagrams that direct the choreographic patterns created by a troupe of dancing girls on the field below. The camera switches back and forth between Goodyear's drawings and aerial views of the chorus girls moving into formation: their designs shift from parallel lines to the figure of a barbell, from a large circle to an outline of splitting and multiplying cells, and from a horizontally divided field emblem (Barney's signature motif) to a rendering of an undifferentiated reproductive system (which marks the first six weeks of fetal development). Gliding in time to the musical score, the chorus girls delineate the contours of a still-androgynous gonadal structure, which echoes the shapes of the two blimps overhead, and symbolizes a state of pure potential.
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