It's been over a decade since avant-garde artist Matthew Barney concluded his mesmerizing, five-part film The Cremaster Cycle. In case you're unfamiliar with the kind of movies Barney makes, The Cremaster Cycle, which is perhaps his most famous work to date, gets its name from the male cremaster muscle.
In The Cremaster Cycle, Barney collaborates with composer Jonathan Bepler and uses the muscle as an allegory to create a multisensory narrative about gender definition and an organism's evolution into a male. Confused? We thought you might be. Basically, Barney combines cinema and installation to produce unconventional, mind-blowing films that mere summaries cannot satisfy; they're films you have to see for yourself to fully grasp.
Next Wednesday, Barney will make his debut at the prestigious Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), showing a screening of his brand new film River of Fundament for the first time ever. The film is based loosely off the late Norman Mailer's Ancient Evenings, a highly sexual novel set in Ancient Egypt. It unites Barney with Bepler again, and it also blends traditional cinema with traces of performance art, sculpture, and opera—so we can expect some awe-inspiring sounds and visuals from this film, too. Death and reincarnation appear to be important themes in this film, as one of the key scenes is based off Mailer's wake. Additionally, the film stars A-list movie stars like Maggie Gyllenhaal, Paul Giamatti, Elaine Stritch, Ellen Burstyn, Joan La Barbara, and jazz percussionist Milford Graves.
Full price tickets for River of Fundament start at $20, and you can go on BAM's website to purchase them now. The film will screen at BAM's Harvey Theater from Feb. 12-16.