I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. - Groucho Marx


by CremasterFanatic.com
July 23, 2015
Cremaster 2 (79 min, 1999) was the first project Barney shot on HDTV (all of the Cremaster “films” are shot on video and then transferred to 35mm film for theatrical projection). The film cost about 1.7 million dollars to produce. An enormous amount of footage was shot -- estimates range from 17 to 30 minutes of tape for every minute used in the final edit (Hollywood films usually shoot at a ratio of 12:1).

The story of Cremaster 2 is loosely based on the life of Gary Gilmore (played in the film by Barney). Gilmore, born a Mormon, was sentanced to death for killing two men in Utah (a gas station attendant and a motel clerk) while on parole from a 12-year armed robbery sentance. Gilmore’s execution was the first in the US in a decade and attracted a lot of attention in the media. He did not appeal his death sentance, choosing instead to face execution by firing squad. Gilmore’s execution was a public relations nightmare for the Mormon Church: although both men he killed were Mormons, by choosing to make a “blood atonement” for his crimes Gilmore was absolved of his sin and entitled to all of the benefits of his Mormon baptism. Barney says he was drawn to Gilmore’s story because it, “was like a version of the whole ‘Cremaster’ dilemma, of a character in conflict with his destiny.” Gilmore’s story was the subject of Norman Mailer’s book The Executioner’s Song (Mailer, himself, appears in the film acting the role of escape artist Harry Houdini), parts of which form the foundation of Cremaster 2.

Within the Cremaster Cycle, Cremaster 2 represents the next first stirrings of gender difference. The idea of conflict between the sexes is explored using the metaphor of the queen bee and her drones (the beehive is also a symbol of Mormonism, signifying the importance of the collective over the individual, and appears on the Utah state flag). Another important motif in Cremaster 2 is the two-step. The dance is used as a metaphor for doubling back, Gilmore moving back through his own conception to Houdini’s metamorphosis...
CremasterFanatic.com is compiled and maintained by artist Eric Doeringer.

by Caryn Coleman
July 22, 2015
If there’s a better satirical film on the art world than A Bucket of Blood (1959) then I certainly haven’t seen it (note: John Waters’ Pecker comes close). This playful jab at the beatnik artist types of the 1950s easily translates into the ridiculousness of contemporary art. Reportedly made by “King of the B-movies” Roger Corman for a mere $50k, A Bucket of Blood is a thoughtful and provoking look at the beginning of modern art as cultural phenomenon. It has a lot in common with the 1953 version of House of Wax (André De Toth) in its representation of the frustrated and revengeful artist, however, it moves beyond the artist as “individual” to cleverly mimic -- and mock -- the capriciousness of the art world as a whole. As Sarah Thornton writes in her enthnographic study Seven Days in the Art World, ‘It’s [the contemporary art world] structured around nebulous and often contradictory hierarchies of fame, credibility, imagined historical importance, institutional affiliation, education, perceived intelligence, wealth, and attributes such as the size of one’s collection.’ [1] More than fifty years after its release, the satire in A Bucket of Blood continues to be relevant, relatable, and totally hilarious...
Caryn Coleman is an independent curator and writer living in Brooklyn whose curatorial practice explores the intersection of film and visual art with an obsessive focus on horror cinema’s influence on contemporary artists. This is the basis for her online writing project The Girl Who Knew Too Much and upcoming exhibition programming Contagious Allegories: horror cinema and contemporary art at the Vincent Price Art Museum in Los Angeles (2013) and The Art of Fear artist film screening at Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn. She is currently the Curator for the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts ‘Art & Law’ Residency program and previously owned the gallery sixspace in Los Angeles (2002-2008) and Chicago (1998-2000). She has written for LUX, Rue Morgue, The Modernist, Art Review online, Beautiful Decay, L.A. Weekly, and art.blogging.la. Coleman received her MFA in Curating with distinction from Goldsmiths College in London.

by Ryk McIntyre
July 22, 2015
I would like to argue that Roger Corman is actually a modern-day Moliere. Roger Corman would probably appreciate that too, but hear me out: both paint with broad morality, with 2-D characters, and primary-colored sarcasm... and a good time is usually had by all...

Ryk McIntyre is a Multi-Hyphen sort of person. Poet, critic, performer, workshop facilitator and co-host at both GotPoetry! Live (Providence) and Cantab Lounge (Cambridge,MA). He's been living in RI for the past 6 years, with his wife and daughter. Ryk has performed his work at Boston's ICA, NYC's New School, Portsmouth, NH's Music Hall and Lollapalooza, to name just a few. He has toured the US, performing in countless Poetry open mics and festivals.  He turned down Allen Ginsburg once.

by Kollin Holtz
July 21, 2015

“You know what the fellow said – in Italy for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo DaVinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace – and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock.” – Lime (From the movie The Third Man)

War gave us plastic, and plastic gave us IKEA. So for couples browsing home furnishings across the nation, the war wages on. If love is a battlefield, and communication wins wars, then everyone loses at IKEA – a Mecca of plastic furniture design. I once saw a Significant pout at his Significant Other, “Oh, I’m sorry, I should’ve stayed home and had you picture message me!” By the end, the only “items” left in the store are the ones for sale. Divide and conquer. It’s a standard practice. The more single people, the more apartments their products will be in. It’s like Ingvar Kamprad , the store’s founder, was given advice by Mr. McGuire from that scene in The Graduate you might not remember when he says, “I’ve got one word for you… Just one word… Are you listening? …Plastics.”

Kollin Holtz is a comedian, writer, and filmmaker living in a closet under the stairs in San Francisco, CA. Check out his website,www.kollinholtz.com for updates on his shows, and his podcast “Closet Talk With Kollin Holtz.” You may also follow him on twitter @KollinHoltz if ya fancy.

by Chris Martin
July 19, 2015
People just don’t want to see mushroom clouds anymore. The nuclear holocaust sub-genre of the post-apocalyptic lexicon of films is the rare example of a niche plot device that we will most likely seldom, if ever see again. You could say that other, much broader genres are equally vacant from the pop culture consciousness at this time, westerns and film noir come to mind, but few other genres are so blatantly indebted to the state of international relations. Unlike other genres that rely on the bedrock reality of historical events, the catastrophic global events of nuclear armageddon never happened in reality. The nightmares only occurred in the minds of billions of human beings for decades of the 20th Century. The threat of a nuclear event isn’t out of the question in 2015, and plenty of films still use the threat of such an event to drive it’s hero towards the big, red off-switch, but the idea of total nuclear annihilation brought on by the two superpowers volleying endless supplies of large scale death at each other is no longer a viable scenario and without the reality to base people’s fears upon, so go the fantasies...
Christopher Martin recently graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a degree in English and a specialization in Film Studies. Shockingly, he is currently underemployed. In his free time Chris likes to read old science fiction novels, enjoy what little nightlife Western Massachusetts has to offer, and watch as many films as possible. He also spends too much time on Tumblr.