Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The CREMASTER cycle comes to CCA Santa Fe, Cinematheque!

Rare screenings on 35mm of Matthew Barney’s legendary five-film series

Monday, November 12 - Sunday, November 15

Cremaster Marathon: $12 for all three screenings

Screenings are regular ticket prices except for marathon.


Thursday, November 12

8p - Cremaster 1 & 2


Friday, November 13

8p - Cremaster 3


Saturday, November 14

8p  - Cremaster 4&5


Sunday, November 15

3p - Cremaster 1 & 2

5:30p - Cremaster 3

8:45p – Cremaster 4 & 5


“The first truly great piece of cinema to be made in a fine art context since Dali and Bunuel filmed UN CHIEN ANDALOU in 1929 … one of the most imaginative and brilliant achievements in the history of avant-garde cinema … The Waste Land for a generation that grew up with STAR WARS … salvages what in myth, ritual and art is still accessible to the modern world.” –Guardian


Matthew Barney—who the New York Times called “the most important artist of his generation”—embarked upon the now-legendary CREMASTER cycle in 1994. In the 15 years since, its reputation has continued to grow. The films will be seen in rare 35mm screenings at the CCA Cinematheque November 12-15, including a marathon of all five works. A full schedule is below. Tickets are at normal prices except for the marathon, which is $12 for all five films.


Each of the five films, running between 40 minutes and three hours, is a gorgeous, unclassifiable work of cinematic art. Film Forum described the works as such: “an epic cycle of birth and sexual differentiation melding genres as diverse as the Busby Berkeley musical, the gothic Western, and operatic spectacle, encompassing Celtic myth, Masonic initiation rites, motorcycle races, obscure historical references, high fashion, lush music, and category-defying imagery, as it spans half the globe, from Boise to Budapest, with Barney himself popping up as a tap-dancing satyr, a naked magician, a giant, and serial killer Gary Gilmore.”


Despite its status as a major work in terms of modern art and cinema—it is a startling work in terms of technical achievement and independent moviemaking— few have seen the entire cycle on 35mm film. Thanks to the support of Barney’s production company, the Center for Contemporary Arts is proud to present the entire CREMASTER cycle as Barney intended.



“Utterly original stuff.” –John Rockwell, The New York Times

In twin hovering Goodyear blimps, a woman arranges red and green grapes into geometric patterns imitated by Isaac Mizrahi-clad dancing girls on the blue astro-turfed football field below.

(U.S., 1995, 40m, 35mm)



“A world as strangely alternate as Lewis Carroll’s … a sprawling, hallucinatory quiltwork of gorgeously shot scenes” –Steven Henry Madoff, Time

Drawing from Hollywood’s mythology of the American West, Barney tells the story of murderer Gary Gilmore (Barney) as he searches for a familial connection with

Harry Houdini (Norman Mailer) as he wanders through a glimmering-gold afterlife complete with dancing cowboys.

(U.S., 1999, 79m, 35mm)



“Endlessly fascinating . . . Barney’s most hypnotic work yet.” –New York Magazine.

Barney’s The Entered Apprentice faces off against Chrysler Building architect Hiram Abiff (played by sculptor Richard Serra) in the Art Deco landmark, while battling punk bands, Rockette-like chorines, and a half-cheetah woman (Aimée Mullins) as he scales the atrium of the Guggenheim Museum in an interlude.

(U.S., 2002, 182m, 35mm)



“A surreal, slapstick fantasy; sexuality turned into a bizarre vaudeville.” –Stephen Holden, New York Times.

Flame-haired goat-boy The Loughton Candidate (Barney) slowly taps his way through an eroding floor into the sea, as competing color-coded motorcycle teams set off in opposite directions to circle the Isle of Man.

(U.S., 1994, 42m, 35mm)



“A ravishing stretch of cinema... rich and quite, quite strange.” –David Frankel, Artforum

Ursula Andress (DR. NO) stars as the Queen of Chain, the sole audience for a lush operatic spectacle performed by the Budapest Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra within a grand 19th century opera house, accompanied by faeries, a magician (Barney on horseback), various attendants of unspecified gender and species, and a bevy of live pigeons.

(U.S., 1997, 54m, 35mm)



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