Release Date: December 20th, 2006 (IFC Center) by IFC First Take.
Directed by Alison Chernick.
BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about the making of Drawing Restraint 9, Matthew Barney’s most recent bizarre film.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Those who managed survived through the 3-hour Drawing Restraint 9 without understanding it will be mildly fascinated by this explanatory documentary. Even though Matthew Barney’s film crew and friends discuss what makes Barney so unique as an artist, he still seems enigmatic and very bizarre. Any fan of his will enjoy watching him and his assistants create all different kinds of artwork ranging from a delicate chunk of petroleum jelly to waxy molds of Barney and Bjork’s body. A Japanese worker from the Nisshin Maru boat who likes him and allows him to use the boat for his artwork, yet doesn’t see eye-to-eye with him. Footage from his Cremaster cycle continues to reflect his obsession with exploring the limitations of the human body. The interviews are not particularly well-balanced with too many positive reviews of his art, except for some young Japanese girls who observe one of his pieces and laugh at the bizarre-looking objects. More interviews and better questions with Barney himself would have helped to allow you to get to know him before you grasp his artwork. Perhaps nobody can fully understand him, but this documentary doesn’t really help except to somewhat clarify scenes from Drawing Restraint 9. As a bonus, you’ll also get to see his brief Drawing Restraint 10 and Drawing Restraint 11 while the end credits roll.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: At running time of only 72 minutes, it doesn’t dig deep enough to comprehend Matthew Barney as an artist.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: More insightful interviews with Matthew Barney would have helped confused fans of his to understand him at least a little better.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 3
IN A NUTSHELL: Mildly fascinating, but not insightful enough.
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