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The Order - From Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle 3

3.3 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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(Oct 19, 2004)
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Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Fast Ali, Peter Donald Badalamenti II, Matthew Barney, The Mighty Biggs, Mike Bocchetti
  • Directors: Matthew Barney
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Palm Pictures / Umvd
  • DVD Release Date: October 19, 2004
  • Run Time: 182 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0004Z32U6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,326 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Order - From Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle 3" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 4, 2003
Format: DVD
The Order: From Cremaster 3 (Matthew Barney, 2002)
First off, let me just say that the disc is misrepresented by most people. Yes, it's a teaser DVD released in anticipation of the full Cremaster boxed set (which was supposed to be out 16 September 2003, and is now pushed back vaguely to "sometime in 2004"). No, it's not a hundred twenty minutes of Cremaster 3, which ran three hours in the theaters. It's thirty minutes of Cremaster 3 that occur towards the end of the film. So at the prices you're seeing it selling for at amazon, ebay, etc., it's not worth it unless you already know you love Cremaster (for reasons specified below).
As a rental, though, The Order is an absolute must. I don't know whether Matthew Barney created the subsection of Cremaster 3 called The Order with an eye towards releasing it as a teaser, but one way or the other, it works fantastically.
The Cremaster Cycle is that rarest of oddities, a series of films that have managed to become wildly popular despite having content that would leave the average filmgoer walking out scratching his head and saying "what on earth did I just sit through?" For that matter, most film snobs will wonder the same thing. Cremaster is like the Ezra Pound's Cantos of modern film; you'll enjoy it on the surface, but there's much more to be found if you happen to be up on such topics as Biblical history, the Masonic initiation rites, the Paralympics, and other such cultural obscurities. But don't let such a thing stop you. I know there's a lot of you out there who just have a thing for men in kilts. You get that, too.
Cremaster 3 is an allegorical tale detailing the construction of the Chrysler Building and linking it to the construction of the Temple of Solomon.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Cremaster Cycle is a series of five films shot over eight years. Although they can be seen individually, the best experience is seeing them all together (like Wagner's Ring Cycle) - and also researching as much as you can beforehand. To give you an idea of the magnitude, it has been suggested that their fulfilment confirms creator Matthew Barney as the most important American artist of his generation (New York Times Magazine).

The Cremaster films are works of art in the sense that the critical faculties you use whilst watching them are ones you might more normally use in, say, the Tate Modern, than in an art house cinema. They are entirely made up of symbols, have only the slimmest of linear plots, and experiencing them leaves you with a sense of awe, of more questions and inspirations than closed-book answers. The imagery is at once grotesque, beautiful, challenging, puzzling and stupendous. Any review can only hope to touch on the significance of such an event, but a few clues might be of interest, so for what it's worth ...

Starting with the title. The 'Cremaster' is a muscle that acts to retract the testes. This keeps the testes warm and protected from injury. (If you keep this in mind as you view the piece it will be easier to find other clues and make sense of the myriad allusions to anatomical development, sexual differentiation, and the period of embryonic sexual development - including the period when the outcome is still unknown. The films, which can be viewed in any order (though chronologically is probably better than numerically) range from Cremaster 1 (most 'ascended' or undifferentiated state) to Cremaster 5 (most 'descended'). The official Cremaster website contains helpful synopses.

Cremaster 3 is the longest (3hrs) and most complex of the Cycle.
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Format: DVD
This is not a release of Cremaster 3 but instead a small section of the film. Although there have been rumors of a release of the actual full length Cremaster films for years now, it seems much more likely that, as another review notes, Barney and Barbara Gladstone ultimately decided that, since they had sold a small number of dvd copies as very limited multiples at ghastly collector's prices, they would not release an affordable version for the masses because it might devalue that original limited edition. If this is their approach, then so be it. By not doing a general release that ordinary people might be able to afford to buy or rent, they have decided to limit the audience for Barney's work only to those who are lucky enough to be able to see a Cremaster or Drawing Restraint showing at a museum or cinema near to them or those tiny few numbers of supercollectors for whom money is pretty much meaningless. The rest of the public should follow their lead and refuse to purchase this or any other "excerpted" versions of Barney's work and pay them back in kind. Art should not be the exclusive domain of an elite. If artists insist on making their work difficult to see or accessible only to the powerful or wealthy, then the rest of us should ignore it and let it disappear.
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Beautiful, strange, hilarious, moving, cryptic, amazing: what more can I say about this? Matthew Barney is a genius, and this is a great introduction to the whole cycle.
The DVD interface *is* confusing. The "multiangle" feature shows you what is going on (in "real" time) on each level throughout, once the Apprentice has climbed to the first level. So, pick a level from the opening screen and choose "Start". You won't see the individual "degree" intros, but you will see the showgirls introduce the Apprentice. Pressing the "angle" button on your DVD player remote won't do anything until the apprentice reaches level 1 and encounters the tap-dancing lamb-women. Then, you'll get the Cremaster field symbol in the lower right corner of the screen with regions for the different levels--choose the one you want to go to, then enjoy! What you see is what the different characters are doing on each level throughout. The "film version" intersects at various points but otherwise you do get things you don't see and hear in the regular "film version." So it's not a true multiangle feature like on other DVDs--you can't select different angles for different scenes--but I think it's even more interesting the way it is. I especially like the action on level 2 (with the punk bands playing acoustic) and level 3 (Aimee Mullins pacing her turf and later being cheetah-like), okay and level 5 with Richard Serra throwing hot vaseline. You can follow what is going on at each level by the thumbnail movies in the Cremaster field symbol and switch from level to level at will.
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