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The Cremaster Cycle Review

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This series of films features a tap-dancing mutant and the Isle Of Man TT Races, a showgirl supported by two blimps, Ursula Andress as the Queen Of Chain, Norman Mailer as Houdini, and a traumatic and endless Masonic ritual.

★★★★★

The first instalment of artist Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle (Cremaster 4) was made in 1994 as a video sculpture project, and since then a further four parts have been added.

Running to a massive six-and-a-half hours in length (being simultaneously released in its constituent parts), it features a tap-dancing mutant and the Isle Of Man TT Races, a showgirl supported by two blimps, Ursula Andress as the Queen Of Chain, Norman Mailer as Houdini, and a traumatic and endless Masonic ritual.

While the ideas are initially interesting, Barney's aims are artistic rather than cinematic. The torturously slow pace of these dialogue-free films has a punishing effect, and rather like Magic Eye pictures, though some may see brilliance hidden within, most will come away feeling they have looked at nothing at all.

While the ideas are initially interesting, Barney's aims are artistic rather than cinematic. Whilst some may recognise brilliance, others will come away feeling as if they've watched nothing at all.