The Order - From Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle 3
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First off if you haven't yet I highly recommend you watch the entire cycle beforehand
Whats there to say about it that hasn't been said already? Read more
i said the same about the book, barney is a sick sick man with layers upon layers of genius. the photogrraphy in this film series is of the best i've ever seen. Read morePublished on May 30, 2013 by rory
A trailer for Cremaster 3, if you will. A great introduction for students and novices interested in learning more about Barney's work. Read morePublished on November 1, 2011 by CW
Was under the impression we'd be getting the 30 minute clips of the actual thing. This was just an advertisement. Don't buy it!!!Published on June 29, 2011 by kubrick
I have read with interest the comments here - and the comments on the comments. It seems that this perplexity is perhaps what M. Barney wants to create. Read morePublished on March 2, 2011 by knock knock
I'm taking Art History 309: Contemporary Art & Issues this semester and I had to watch The Order and then write an essay determining whether I was a Champion! Read morePublished on February 28, 2009 by Danielle R. Walker
If climbing on and jumping off internal Guggenheim Museum balconies constitute a very plot of a five part visual work, this DVD accomplishing extracts from all sequences, of which... Read morePublished on September 14, 2008 by Michael Kerjman
I saw the actual work in New York at the Guggenheim and this is an excellent companion piece.
Of course, it's no Drawing Restraint...