Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Meanwhile, we do love us a great crazy dame. Guy has recently been ebullient over the impending return of Kate Bush (let us hope for Big Stripey Lie-style magnificence) and now I will sigh with wonder over Björk.

She's in a new film, see. It's a 135-minute Matthew Barney epic shot in Japan, featuring a vat filled with thousands of litres of vaseline. This article about it rules, in a tongue-in-cheek, "What's that you say? A harrowing liebestod? Flensing knives?" way. So I will reproduce it at length:

Drawing Restraint 9 follows Bjork's appearance in the cult director Lars von Trier's film Dancer in the Dark. But the new picture is far weirder.
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.
Bjork was upbeat about the film, with Barney, the subject of a recent Guggenheim retrospective in New York, equally wrapped up in what the producers described as his "hermetic vision". Asked what the couple plan to do next, Barney said that he wanted to become "more experimental".

HA! WE LOVE HER MADLY... Now, is there a soundtrack?

No comments: