Sexual Orientation in Film

Watching and reading the article regarding the film “Cremaster” from artist Mathew Barney was extremely thrilling. I have never seen a film like that, it just took me by surprise to see all the stunning special effects and the plot of this three hour masterpiece. Without a doubt this avant-garde/abstract film has to be up there within one of the best top ten abstract films off all time. True, it can get confusing since it involves lots of graphic scenes and eccentric sounds; there is hardly any dialogue involved and it has several flashbacks. However, the beauty of it hides behind and deep inside the film. To see the opening scene is taking place in a remote land where mystical creatures live and to have a mis-en-scene to a modern New York, was just mind blowing.


I can only imagine the amount of money that the producers and director invested while creating this film. It honestly reminded me of films like “The Lord of the Rings” and “Pan’s Labyrinth” minus all the blockbuster chaos; but instead I was able to see a new type of visual art that I had never seen before. The flashbacks we see are so vivid and mind controlling that kept me wanting for more. The way it was made, was genius and brilliant.

I can relate the reading and Avant-Garde Art since is now days all over the place, when we take the subway in a modern city like Toronto, Montreal and New York we can see posters of art that are very abstract, when we walk around the city and we see stunning architecture, I can consider it to be avant-garde as well. Barney’s film and the reading relating to it, was so out of this world, but what I loved the most was the meaning behind the film. The meaning of sexual differentiation is very clear on the film, it shows how the female and male structure have different ways of controlling each other and interacting in society.

Mathew barney’s – Cremaster

This meaning can be assimilated differently depending on the way the audience’s perceives  the film. The reality is that it has one meaning, we are all connected somehow. Gay, Straight, Men or Women; although we are all different we need from each other to reproduce.

I enjoyed how Barney created a film by using his artistic side. If you ask me, the world needs more filmmakers like him. Being different and letting the audience interpret different ideas while watching a film, is what abstract filmmaking is all about. I am aware that not everyone will have the same reaction if they watched this film or read the article.


I mean, people now days are becoming more and more ordinary when it comes to film. They just want to watch action movies or huge blockbusters that have special effects. Me, personally I admire a film and a director that makes me think and opens up my mind.

Cremaster – Mathew Barney

Written by Felipe Medina for The Expanded Cinema course at Concordia University.

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