Matthew Barney, The Cremaster Cycle, 1994-2002

Indescribable is an over-used word, but it is appropriate here as words are very inadequate to try to capture the overwhelming experience that is The Cremaster Cycle. These five films, (to be seen in order as No.4 and No.1, No.5 and No.2 and then No.3) have been described as “one of the most imaginative and brilliant achievements in the history of avant-garde cinema”.

No.4 is a twisted fairy-tale with Barney himself as a Satyr; No.1 is a musical revue (Busby Berkley style) performed on the blue Astroturf of the Bronco’s stadium; No.5 is an opera set in the romantic dreamscape of 19th century Budapest; No. 2 is a Gothic Western inspired by the death of Gary Gilmour; and No.3 the epic conclusion, set in the magnificence of the Chrysler Building where two foes battle for dominance against a backdrop of demolition derbies and races run by dead horses.

Matthew Barney is a sculptor who lives and works in New York. His Cremaster film cycle has been screened at major art galleries across the world but this is one of the only chances you will have to see it in a cinema. The films are about division, choice and sexual differentiation, starting with the unborn foetus.

The Cremaster Cycle
Dir. Matthew Barney


Tue 18 – Thu 20 November 2003

Tyneside Cinema

10 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle NE1 6QG