With or without a comprehensible story, crosscutting is one of the least interesting forms of editing, and Matthew Barney addresses the problem much as Robert Altman did when he was on autopilot—by pretending it doesn't exist. This lumbering avant-garde spectacular (1994) stars Barney as "the Loughton Candidate," a tap dancing and crawling satyr juxtaposed with two motorcycle teams racing across the Isle of Man. The film invites us to consider the multiple meanings of its elaborate surrealist imagery—much of it viewed from Barney's favorite camera position, the celestial overhead shot—but all I could think about was hype and money. The colors are characteristically lurid.
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This week the Music Box presents all five installments of Matthew Barney's "Cremaster" cycle of avant-garde features, plus the Chicago premiere of his latest, De Lama Lamina.