We were strangely compelled to see the last two installments of the Crewmaster series from Mr. Barney yesterday. We caught the series out of sequence, so yesterday it was Crewmaster 1 &2.
Love him or hate him, (and it seems there's lots of folks on either side of that equation), Matthew Barney is certainly committed to his unique vision. And he followed through with a series of films unlike anything else I've ever seen.
Crewmaster really does work as a series. It's a compelling vision, it's haunting, beautiful, ridiculous, hermetic, obsessive, etc. What I love about it - it's totally open-ended, with no commercial value, a useless (?!?) artistic confection - that leaves you to puzzle out your own meanings.
I came away totally clear. Sort of like washing someone else's dreams or hallucinations through your own nervous system. It was kind of exhilarating. The art world has sort of embraced Matthew Barney, the movie critics (at least the local Chicago ones) pretty much dismiss him.
We are in the embracing camp!