a film by Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler
A radical reinvention of Norman Mailer's novel Ancient Evenings, this epic film is the latest work by world renowned art visionary Matthew Barney in collaboration with composer Jonathan Bepler. Barney and Bepler fuse narrative cinema, live performance, sculpture and opera, reconstructing Mailer's hypersexual story of Egyptian gods and the seven stages of death alongside the rise and fall of the American car industry.
The film's central scene is an abstraction of Mailer's wake, set in a replica of the late author's apartment in Brooklyn Heights and featuring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Paul Giamatti, Elaine Stritch, Ellen Burstyn, Joan La Barbara, and jazz percussionist Milford Graves. Alluring, authentic and intense, this vast multidimensional experience is interspersed with remarkable live performances filmed over six years.
Written and directed by Matthew Barney
Music Composed and directed by Jonathan Bepler
Produced by Matthew Barney and Laurenz Foundation
River of Fundament is presented worldwide on behalf of the artists by Manchester International Festival.
Photo: Hugo Glendinning