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Only a bonafide inspired, crazy-man artist such as Matthew Barney could transform cinema into the spectacular playground that is The Cremaster Cycle, Barney?s five-part series of feature films that he began in 1994 and completed in 2002. The Cremaster Cycle has been touring the world for the last couple of years. This month all five films have found their way to Melbourne and Sydney. The Cremaster Cycle is a new type of cinema that Australian audiences are more than ready for. The Cremaster Cycle is named after the internal muscle that moves the male testes - their ?hydraulics? as it were - the muscle ?which controls testicular contractions? and their response to ?external stimuli?. Hence The Cremaster Cycle is preoccupied with ? amongst other things ? the representation of ascension and descension in time and space. In Cremaster 3 for example a man (in a fabulous bloodied costume) clambers up and down the floors inside New York?s famous Chrysler Building, as various mythological beings, jack-booted oi-boys and scantily clad dancing girls become obstacles in his way.If this all sounds too esoteric or dry and biological even, the opposite is true.Barney?s Cremaster Cycle is a visual and sonic feast to behold, full of goo (Vaseline), water (dancing girls in spa baths), blood, fleshy bodies and the occasional celebrity (both Norman Mailer and Ursula Andress pop up in Cremaster 2 and 5 respectively, and art stars Richard Serra and Marti Domination in 1 and 3). It is thrilling watching the human bodies wobbling and wending their way through these pristine, keenly constructed art environments. The Cremaster films possess enough references to both high and low art to beguile even the most avid art-snob. Barney?s films fuse sculpture, architecture, video gaming and performance art with Busby Berkley musicals, horror, Westerns, graphic design, punk music, electronica, athletics and more! There literally is something for everyone to respond to. The films have their own internal logic and set of preoccupations with mythology, life, death and sex, nature, god, the human body, symbolism, the elements, heaven, earth and so forth. Yet it is just as easy to navigate these films with one?s own set of references, on one?s own terms, to transform Barney?s ?stimuli? into one?s own, individual and set of meaningful associations. The Cremaster Cycle is a feast of sight, sound and meaning, that invites us all in to it like a living breathing thing. It operates on both on our ancient, more primal consciousness and our contemporary one at the same time. The Cremaster Cycle of films are like the most ambitious long-form music videos you are ever likely to see. If you mashed up the work, bizarre perspectives, aesthetics and humour of music video artists Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry, Chris Cunningham and Hype Williams, you?d still fall a little short of Matthew Barney?s Cremaster Cycle.The Cremaster Cycle is epic in its scope. Filmed out of order (Cremaster 3 for example was made last with the most resources) and on a variety of formats, it is interesting to witness how Matthew Barney?s filmmaking skills have evolved over the eight year time period in which it was produced. There is also a perverse, pop-impregnated sense of humour at work in The Cremaster Cycle, so don?t be afraid to surrender to its divine comedy, marvel at its grotesque parade and admire the eclectic scope of the most unique of cinema experiences in Australian theatres at the moment.