Daily Departures

Departing daily from the ordinary objects of my thoughts.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Bjork goodness

Bjork is, hands down, one of the coolest musical artists around. On my mp3 player--the one with the famous four letter appellation--I have a playlist named Bjork goodness. If my mp3 player could also play video and I had Bjork's newest film, it would need to be in a playlist titled Bjork weirdness.

The movie is titled Drawing Restraint 9, is in Japanese, and is directed by San Francisco born Matthew Barney. I haven't seen the film, but a few of the articles that I've read depict it as so utterly weird that I feel compelled to see it. Take this article for example. Aside from mentioning that the film "features a vat filled with thousands of litres of Vaseline," the article had this to say:
It emanated from the imagination of Barney, a San Francisco-born artist, who hired the mothership of the Japanese whaling fleet, the Nisshin Maru, to sail in Nagasaki Bay with a huge steel basin on deck. Hours were spent filling the basin with Vaseline poured in through hosepipes.

According to the script, the idea was to use the petroleum jelly to show the "relationship between self-imposed resistance and creativity" by transforming it into a "vast sculpture", called The Field, which is "moulded, poured, bisected and reformed" on the ship over the course of the film.

With the jelly congealing and moving with the sea, the movie "tracks the descent of form into states of sensual surrender and formal atrophy". But many critics attending the film festival were baffled, and at a press screening the sound of seats flipping up as viewers left the cinema began early.

In the film Bjork and Barney, identified as "The Guests", arrive on the vessel and are dressed as a Shinto couple in mammal fur costumes by geisha girls. There is what the publicity material calls "a harrowing liebestod" in which Bjork and her partner become "locked in an embrace" as they "breathed through blowhole-like orifices on the back of their necks".

They then take out "flensing knives" to "cut away each other's feet and thighs".

The script said: "Remains of their lower body are revealed to contain traces of whale tails at an early stage of development, suggesting rebirth, physical transformation, and the possibility of new forms. Having reached a state of maximum disintegration, the sculpture of The Field is then reorganised and the ship emerges from a storm, sailing through a field of icebergs towards the open southern ocean."

The two stars are then seen as a pair of whales, swimming behind the ship, heading for Antarctica.

All that I can reasonably say about this has been said by my friend Chris; namely, that's fweird.


  • At 1/04/2006 10:38:00 PM, Blogger The-Flying-Fox said…

    I love this, now here is a movie that I must see (now to steal my parents credit card). I love the tail of tails and transformation, the symbolism is 'fwird' and awesome. Though if I had the chance I would probably choose to grow wings.


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