Tuesday, September 12, 2006

We finally saw Drawing Restraint 9 this weekend. As expected, and in many ways totally unexpected: wow!

It starts off so slow: seemingly pointless scenes that go on foreeeeeeeever. Long shot of Bjork being Bjork. Long shot of Matthew Barney being Matthew Barney. Then she gets on a boat. Then he gets on a boat. Then they get on another boat. (I'm all for creative masturbation, but forty minutes in, I'm like, "are you for real?") A few minutes later things start to get really weird (and weird always = "good!") It gets brilliant right quick, and doesn't let up for the next hour and a half. Maybe only people totally in love can truly get this movie. In the most base of terms, it's the story of a couple not getting along, who take a trip together and re-spark their connection with each other. Granted, this involves whale poop tea, and... well, you've either seen what happens next or you need to. We ran into couple friends the next day, gushed about the movie, and agreed that sashimi = love. That's all I'm going to say about the story. If you were nervous as I was about this, it doesn't come off as a Bjork music video. She does sing, but it's mostly subtle, and works very well with the film.

An interesting point about Barney, is there are plenty of filmmakers who are better filmmakers. There are plenty of artists who are better artists. But, as Bethany pointed out, the real art is the recontextualization, and Barney's ability to postion himself in this undefined area - and get massive support from his patrons to execute extremely ambitious works. The art of simply being Matthew Barney is genius, and I have the greatest appreciation for that level of ambition, vision and ability to make things happen. He is someone who defines his own destiny - for both his work and his life. This makes him a genius.

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