Two years ago I saw what has to be one of the most astonishing, visionary and enthralling films ever. It's called "Cremaster 3"(unfortunately only
a portion of the film is available on Amazon.com dvd) It is crypticly enough the final fifth film
in the Cremaster Cycle from avant garde artist Matthew Barney.
So what makes Cremaster 3( www.cremaster.net...
so interesting? It is a 3 and a half hour meditation and meticulous look at Masonic ritual and rites, allegory, and history. Previously the only
Freemason stuff I had seen in films were more of the sinister plot devices like From Hell.
What intrigued me about this film was the extreme dedication toward the
evaluation and study of Masonic lore. The film revolves around the figural entered apprentice, adorned in an apron who tries to ascend the Chrysler
Building to reach the architect, Hiram Abiff. Every single second and detail of the movie revolves around mythology in FreeMasons, as well as a few
things borrowed from Celtic mythology(which is more toward the end) The film starts off on the Isle of Giants in Ireland, but quickly goes to
underneath the Chrysler Building in the 1920's where de Maloy boys are helping to carry a body to the upper level with older Masons. This is where
the more esoteric elements come into play, as repeated throughout the film.
The movie is literlaly obsessed with geometric and architectual redundance, but such is to be expected in an art film...tasks and even the most ornate
things are performed ad nauseum(such as the layering of cement in an elevator shaft, or the forming a cement like Solomon's Temple) The hubris of the
entered apprentice is followed up through this unusual of settings...the actual Chryslter building(some of th emost stunning visuals are here not seen
since Koyaanisqatsi, as may poles give way to hundred foot stremaers coming out the sides of the building) I've seen almost 2000 movies, and this one
has to be one of the most jarring and beautifully filmed ones I've seen. I wish the whole film was on dvd, but I'm sure some of you have seen or at
least read about it.
The overall feeling is one of uncomfortable sinister dread, although I feel it treats the Masonic subject with respect in its painstaking detail. An
entire scene of 33rd degre geometric ritual is gone over and over in almost complete banal repetition toward the end for instance.
Unfortunately a lot of Freemasonry in movies is treated as either a sinister plot(From Hell), or trivial(National Treasure) So it is odd to have a
film like this that goes above and beyond to capture the essense of FreeMasonry(eternal brotherhood, dicipline, secret trades, etc) yet it still
somehow comes off as slightly uncomfortable. Definately the more cryptic of the art films I've seen, it no doubt will make anyone who sees it curious
about older Freemason ideas and thought.