My last review
And from the absurdity that excessive creativity can have on the classic boy-meets-girl movie, to the absurdity of pure excessive creativity. Drawing Restraint 9 is the first movie by Matthew Barney that I have seen, although he has a series of acclaimed movies: the Cremaster cycle (viewed already by Xin). I knew what to expect in style, which meant there was no shock of its extreme arty movie style.
I liken watching truly arty movies as like listening to a symphony. It used to be that people could listen to classical music and enjoy the flow, build-up and climax of pure sound, the building of a motif to its ultimate realisation etc. etc. Then came pop music which its thematic creation which drowns out such appreciation. The same could be said with dance and ballet. Likewise with movies, the simple observation of crafted symbolism, recurrent motifs, trained performance, simple beauty could be missed in this movie to the unaccepting eye drilled in the patterns of commercialised movies. But if you let such a movie come to you, hold it within your minds eye, let it brew, wait for association and meaning to form slowly and form it is a refreshing experience. You feel cleaner by the end of it.
Of course, I loved the film, after all, it has the coolest tea-set on the face of the globe. It was sensual and cryptic. The sound of this movie is overpowering. Matthew Barney's wife and co-star is the irrepressible Bjork (although her acting her is definitely one of restraint to the natural) so naturally this is to be expected when an artist is given such a responsibility. The music is an even more extreme demonstration of the pure music shown in her recent album Medulla. Lyrics are a scarce commodity in all the music and to those wanting to hear that voice it could be a disappointment. But for the movie, the abrasion, repetition and flow of the whole soundtrack are undeniably apt. I had seen reviews of the soundtrack on Amazon.com and the screams of protest from Bjork fans at the minimalism of it all – and the lack of Bjork's crooning. But that is to forget that it is a soundtrack. I had been rather sleep-deprived for two straight nights, and at times did shut my eyes. Xin aided in my reawakening. But this is the kind of movie you can appreciate well with your eyes shut.