The third installment sequentially (1997) of writer-director Matthew Barney's "Cremaster" cycle is just as lethargic and self-satisfied as the others I've seen, though less monotonous rhythmically. An opera set in late-19th-century Budapest, with extended portions of the action taking place underwater, it stars Ursula Andress in the only singing role (though her voice is dubbed by Adrienne Csengery) and Barney in three parts that seem to sum up his self-image (Diva, Magician, Giant). This avant-garde pageant is characteristically mythoprosaic (to coin a term), though it does make the most of its Hungarian locations. If it were less doggedly florid and had any sort of humor—camp or otherwise—it might qualify as a big-budget remake of an early Werner Schroeter opus. The music is by Jonathan Bepler.
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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.