“The Cremaster Cycle” has been described as repulsive, beautiful, creative, inspiring, moving, brutal and sexual.
Without any tangible meaning or chronological narrative, it aims to be an astonishing display of artistic creativity and a “metaphor for the creative process itself,” according to Wendy Lidell of the International Film Circuit and the film’s distributer.
Directed and written by Matthew Barney, “The Cremaster Cycle” is a five-part avant-garde contemporary art film copied to only 20 DVDs worldwide, shown primarily through periodic screenings.
And from Thursday through Sunday, you can see the movie series at the University of Miami’s Cosford Cinema.
“It’s not for everybody,” Lidell said. “But if you ask me, one of the hallmarks of real art is that it engenders love-hate reactions.”
Since the film itself is incredibly unique and focuses on artistic expression rather than traditional cinematic structure, audiences are usually not prepared for watching the entirety of the seven-hour cycle.
However, the Cosford is showing the five parts individually throughout the weekend.
But Bonnie Clearwater, the executive director and chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, feels that the younger generation should be impacted by the film.
“His interest in the idea of endurance is a theme that has continued, that ties in to early artists with a younger generation, that also sees endurance as an important part of the work,” Clearwater said.
Young adult audiences, even without an extensive background in Barney’s style of art, should see the film as a refreshing display of creativity and imagination.
And even though the film is celebrating its 10th birthday, it still connects with an audience that appreciates artistic expression and a lack of censorship.
“I think some of Matthew’s imagery, which still reads as original, has infiltrated into pop culture,” Lidell said. “I still find the films breathtaking.”