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Cremaster 1 (1996)

An experimental short film from the Cremaster series which alludes to the position of the reproductive organs during the embryonic development process.

Director:

Matthew Barney

Writer:

Matthew Barney
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marti Domination Marti Domination ... Goodyear
Gemma Bourdon Smith Gemma Bourdon Smith ... Goodyear Hostess in the Green Lounge
Kathleen Crepeau Kathleen Crepeau ... Goodyear Hostess in the Green Lounge
Nina Kotov Nina Kotov ... Goodyear Hostess in the Green Lounge
Jessica Sherwood Jessica Sherwood ... Goodyear Hostess in the Green Lounge / Goodyear Chorus Girl
Tanyth Berkeley Tanyth Berkeley ... Goodyear Hostess in the Red Lounge
Miranda Brooks Miranda Brooks ... Goodyear Hostess in the Red Lounge
Kari McKahan Kari McKahan ... Goodyear Hostess in the Red Lounge
Catherine Mulchahy Catherine Mulchahy ... Goodyear Hostess in the Red Lounge
Brooke Albus Brooke Albus ... Goodyear Chorus Girl
Sara Bearce Sara Bearce ... Goodyear Chorus Girl
Celeste Bolin Celeste Bolin ... Goodyear Chorus Girl
Amanda Byram Amanda Byram ... Goodyear Chorus Girl
Holly Carlock Holly Carlock ... Goodyear Chorus Girl
Erin Caskey Erin Caskey ... Goodyear Chorus Girl
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Storyline

An experimental short film from the Cremaster series which alludes to the position of the reproductive organs during the embryonic development process.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Fantasy | Musical

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

The Cremaster Cycle

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 July 2005 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Кремастер See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,778
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Followed by Cremaster 5 (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Sun Pretty
by A. Mawer
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User Reviews

Vaginal dance from the sky
19 June 2012 | by chaos-rampantSee all my reviews

Step the second in my voyage through the cinematic constellation of the Cremaster films. The cycle of five films released over the course of 8 years, apparently derives its moniker from a testicular muscle in the human body and is meant to represent the onset of the male gender in the biological formation of the fetus.

The guy responsible for these is primarily a sculptor, so you will see often basic filmmaking but with an eye for sculpted space, emphasis on surfaces instead of narrative. I bet he loves Kubrick.

Additionally, he seems to have the notion that the five films taken together can also substitute for the creative process, it's really boring if you read up on what he has to say. And this is the thing for me. He seems to be a pompous boring man. He's fond of these stale symbolic notations where a vase supposedly stands for beauty and really labors under the weight of having some sort of layered system that explains the bulk of his work.

Compare him to someone like Resnais or Ruiz, artists who thrive in the spontaneity and mystery of the medium, and Barney comes off as hard and fussy about trivial insights. You can see the films then read up on keys he has provided elsewhere, and that is that.

But this works, this is something to settle in. It is still not deeply centered, in the sense that I was hoping with these films for a cosmology that folds different worlds, different facets of vision into single-pointed concentration of vision coming into being, and Barney is still consumed with grapes trickling from a shoe to take on the ground the shape of ovaries.

Nevertheless, this works because it is less about notation and more about gently sculpted abstract feel.

It is a simple thing, at the top we have two zeppelins - the 'ovaries' - circling the skies and in each blimp is the same woman in lingerie hidden in the cramped space beneath a table and arranging grapes into different shapes. Meanwhile, hostesses in each zeppelin keep staring out of darkened ports in the hull. Interiors are immaculately white, Barney's shorthand for purity. Bodies of all these women are palesmooth, languid skin moving with constraint that is a frigid wish for post-coital melancholy, there is a lot of posturing and vacant looks between them like in one of those ads about perfume.

So she keeps play-acting with grapes, they keep looking as though guarding against something or nonchalantly curious.

But down below is a stadium and twin choruses of girls in dancehall attire assemble and dance. They assemble as the grapes do up above, each time a new shape, this is the stale, symmetrical part.

The beauty is all in the co-ordinated sweeps, the dance between the innocent woman above and the arena where her impulse to give shape is being danced out like a number from a splashy Busby Berkeley musical. If you have seen any of Berkeley's films, you know the big show was never random spectacle, but always the voluptuous expression of the players as they danced out feelings they had been struggling with for the entire film, all of it let out on the stage.

We don't have any plot here and only the dreamy number. We have only fresh radiant beings and soothing Hollywood music. We have rosycolored air that is prepubescent not-yet sex, pure emotion.


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