Conversation on Matthew Barney's 'Drawing Restraint 9'

Bjork and Matthew Barney in Drawing Restraint 9


Watching Drawing Restraint 9, an art film by American artist Matthew Barney, is possibly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, mainly because Barney's films are only available in festival circuits, there will never be any DVDs, and it will not even get a limited theater distribution.

The film (along with Matthew Barney's previous works, the Cremaster Cycle) was screened in Perth because of the 10-day Artrage Festival held few weeks ago. Desperate to witness the film ourselves, Justin and I went for the screening at the RMax theater. Initially hoping to be blown away by watching this film on a huuuuuuge Imax (the RMax theater is an Imax theater... whatever that means), we were disappointed that the film was only projected upon a portion of the screen. Bah.

Anyway, Justin and my thoughts of the film are illustrated in the following MSN conversation. The film stars Bjork and Matthew Barney himself.



Justin says:
Drawing Restraint 9
Swifty says:
Okay
Swifty says:
Matthew Barney's overindulgence and shoddy filmmaking left me perplexed that people would worship it as art
Swifty says:
Stanley Kubrick = Art
Swifty says:
Matthew Barney = Pretender
Swifty says:
Terrence Malick = (kinda pretentious, but still...) Art
Swifty says:
Matthew Barney = ... sigh
Justin says:
Terence Malick seems pretty bad too though
Swifty says:
The Thin Red Line is poetic.
Swifty says:
Days of Heaven, despite the kiddie voiceover... has STRONG visuals
Justin says:
I felt like Drawing Restraint 9 is still better than Hollywood films just because you haven't seen it nine hundred times before in your life
Justin says:
Like Bjork getting eaten and turning into a whale, that hasn't happened before
Swifty says:
something the GREAT INFLUENTIAL ARTIST Matthew Barney was incapable of doing
Justin says:
It's not worth paying money to see the same shit
Swifty says:
ideas mean nothing when execution is shit
Justin says:
They could have done Matthew Barney in half the time length but
Swifty says:
if you only have 10% of your writing skills
Justin says:
At least it has some kind of ambition
Swifty says:
despite having your current ambition
Swifty says:
no way am i going to respect your writing that much
Justin says:
My ambition is pretty much writing skill itself though
Justin says:
I don't have any social message or point or anything to reassure people
Swifty says:
Drawing Restraint 9 was entertaining because of its sheer overwhelming overindulgence
Swifty says:
where every Tom, Dick and Harry will interpret as if it's some kind of high art.
Justin says:
I think the film has an overall LACK of seriousness though
Justin says:
It's not serious enough to be truly affecting
Poster of l'age d'OrJustin says:
I feel like l'age d'Or is better
Swifty says:
L'age d'Or has better craftsmanship
Justin says:
I feel like l'age d'Or is better than like any other movie because it's made with pure HATE
Justin says:
The only point of the movie is attack
Justin says:
I don't think anyone could conceive a movie like that anymore
Swifty says:
... Michael Moore?
Justin says:
Michael Moore is trying to be taken seriously though
Justin says:
The whole point of l'age d'Or is just absurd nothingness
Justin says:
Really, the scale of that film is insane
Justin says:
It's like an attack on history itself
Justin says:
Remember when it goes back to the Roman empire and shit
Swifty says:
hmm
Justin says:
The more you watch l'age d'Or the better it becomes because you notice more things they are doing
Swifty says:
Will the same happen with Drawing Restraint 9?
Justin says:
It's not like Un Chien Andalou where the point is just to be random
Justin says:
No
Swifty says:
Yeah, definitely not.
Justin says:
It's not enough to just eat Bjork's leg
Swifty says:
It's just them sitting there, waiting
Swifty says:
.... WAAAAAIIIITIIIING
Swifty says:
They spent half an hour cutting each other up
Justin says:
That should have been better done too
Swifty says:
At least Wong Kar Wai could make washing hands in a washroom cool.
Justin says:
I want to talk more about l'Age d'Or
Justin says:
Everyone should watch it
Swifty says:
I prefer Un Chien Andalou. Hmph.
Justin says:
I wonder if we could somehow upload it to the site
Justin says:
Why
Swifty says:
The images are more vivid.
Swifty says:
I prefer the randomness
Justin says:
There is a guy masturbating to a woman on a toilet and then mounds of flowing shit in l'Age d'Or
Justin says:
And little kids getting shot with rifles and a guy throwing a giraffe out the window
Swifty says:
I can only remember the giraffe.
Justin says:
And Jesus Christ turning into the marquis de sade
Justin says:
And a guy walking around with a loaf of bread on his head
Swifty says:
Oh, and a couple making out until they were both bleeding
Justin says:
The images are better than Matthew Barney
Swifty says:
Definitely
Justin says:
That film was made like eighty years ago
Swifty says:
there is nothing memorable about Drawing Restraint 9
Swifty says:
except for the desperate measures I had to take to entertain myself
Swifty says:
oh, maybe the part where someone shaved Matthew Barney when he was asleep
Justin says:
l'age d'Or l'age d'Or l'age d'Or
Justin says:
The greatness of l'age d'Or must be proclaimed to all
Swifty says:
Yeah, Luis Bunuel's a master filmmaker
Justin says:
Some guy is like sucking off a statue
Swifty says:
Matthew Barney = pretender!
Justin says:
If you remade l'Age d'Or shot for shot with good color and production values now
Justin says:
It would still start riots probably
Swifty says:
Hm, yeah.
Justin says:
If people understand what is really happening in that film
Swifty says:
Unfortunately, I doubt they will.
Justin says:
I want to make another film like l'Age d'Or that just has images and metaphoric weight but no slow bullshit or waiting
Justin says:
Why aren't there any other films like that
Justin says:
Except El Topo
Justin says:
El Topo is like that
Justin says:
I feel like El Topo and l'Age d'Or are made by mystics in touch with God and most movies are made by like little kids with comic books or something
Swifty says:
Matthew Barney?
Justin says:
It doesn't feel real on the basis of Drawing Restraint 9
Justin says:
I don't know about the other ones
Justin says:
It doesn't have enough humor
Justin says:
l'age d'Or and El Topo are really funny
Swifty says:
David Lynch > Matthew Barney
Justin says:
It you speed up l'age d'Or, I can't remember who said this, but it turns into Monty Python
Swifty says:
Really? Hm
Justin says:
That is actually a remarkable observation
Swifty says:
Yeah.
Justin says:
I really only like movies that are like dreams or mystical experiences.
Swifty says:
Girl Disconnected. Heh.
Justin says:
I don't understand the conventions of realist cinema
Justin says:
My favorite movies are like l'age d'Or, The Seventh Seal, El Topo, um, Evil Dead maybe
Justin says:
Everything else is pretty meaningless to me
Swifty says:
Wong Kar Wai? Shunji Iwai?
Justin says:
Yeah that stuff is good
Justin says:
I forgot them
Justin says:
I feel like Wong Kar Wai's movies are like that too though, sort of like dreams
Swifty says:
Yeah
Justin says:
Shunji is kind of similar
Swifty says:
somewhat meditative
Justin says:
I forgot to say Chungking Express
Justin says:
That is my other favorite movie, up there
Justin says:
Or anything that has an awesome scene with music
Justin says:
Do music videos count
Swifty says:
City of God?
Justin says:
The video for 'Traveling' by Hikaru Utada is better than most movies
Swifty says:
Yeah. Too bad Casshern wasn't that good.
Justin says:
Alphaville is good too
Justin says:
Logan's Run
Swifty says:
Director (Mr Utada Hikaru) is more a visual guy than a storyteller
Justin says:
That is also a great movie
Justin says:
Logan's Run may be up there with the great movies
Swifty says:
The Island is kinda like Logan's Run
Justin says:
Except not good
Swifty says:
but with Scarlett
Justin says:
Jason and the Argonauts
Justin says:
That is also a great movie
Justin says:
I am going to compile all these into a list
Justin says:
Jason and the Argonauts is an incredible movie
Swifty says:
Neverending Story *sob*
Justin says:
I watched it like 1000 times when I was between the ages of like 6 and 13
Justin says:
Jason and the Argonauts I mean
Swifty says:
Yeah
Justin says:
Neverending Story is pretty great
Swifty says:
Drawing Restraint 9 lack the sense of wonder the aforementioned films would bring
Swifty says:
maybe it isn't trying to.
Swifty says:
But that's why it's impossible for me to even appreciate it objectively as a work of art.
Justin says:
The reason the movie sucks
Swifty says:
Due to its technical shortcomings. Bad lighting, bad framing
Swifty says:
really shoddy filmmaking.
Justin says:
Is because they mentioned mono no aware
Justin says:
As an aesthetic concept
Justin says:
Anything mentioning mono no aware is always made by white people and usually sucks
Justin says:
No one in Japan really knows or cares about mono no aware
Justin says:
Mentioning mono no aware in anything is like putting Fu Manchu or Egg-Fu in your movie except more highbrow

Egg-Fu


Swifty says:
Yeah, white people once again attemping to exoticize some bullshit Asian concept
Justin says:
The meaning for that phrase has also changed over time, it doesn't mean what it is always reported as meaning in movies and books
Swifty says:
Is this the end?
Justin says:
Um
Justin says:
Yes
Justin says:
l'age d'Or
Justin says:
l'age d'Or l'age d'Or
Justin says:
Okay it's the end


Drawing Restraint 9 trailer


Matthew Barney talks about Drawing Restraint 9... maybe.


Related Entries:
girish: Drawing Restraint 9
Girish likes it. Most of the commentators like it. And because of that, they make me feel... uncultured and intellectually inept.

Greencine Daily: Drawing Restraint 9
List of Drawing Restraint 9 reviews. Some negative and befuddled, thus reassuring me that I'm not crazy.

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