In my experience, the highlight of Matthew Barney’s 351-minute movie River of Fundament, occurs a little more than three hours in, when we’re treated to a close-up shot of greenish diarrhea leaking out of a butthole. That’s powerful imagery and I’ve never seen anything quite like it before.

But what does it mean?

It means that Barney’s films—even when they are so long that they stretch toward the six-hour mark and call for two intermissions, as River of Fundament does—are best taken bit by bit, as an aesthetic procession, a series of ingeniously devised self-contained images. At best, they work in conversation with each other but in River of Fundament, they don’t quite cohere to form a narrative. The movie is often gallingly oblique. Despite all of the time Barney takes, he just can’t convey a story that is evidently worth telling or one that is worth all of the effort it would take to make sense of it.

Barney is one of our most famous living artists. His name is synonymous with contemporary art to the point that his work demands to be taken seriously.

But notable artist and great storyteller are far from being one in the same job. Granted, River of Fundament is an “art movie,” which means one must bring a different set of expectations to the fold when viewing it. You know that it will be more striking aesthetically than narratively, and yet, River of Fundament does attempt to tell a story. It may not be a movie-movie, but it functions like one: It has been playing in theaters and at festivals, in the dark, to a seated audience. Today, it begins its weeklong run at New York’s IFC Center, alongside films like the Cannes hit The Assassin and the documentary Janis: Little Girl Blue.

Where to even begin describing River of Fundament, which does so many things that conveying it in list format only seems logical? There is a 900-word synopsis of the movie on its official site. Here is a paragraph from it:

Set amid the American landscape, River of Fundament uses the language of modern industrial processing and recycling to tell the story of its automobile protagonist, alongside characters deployed from [a previous Barney film] CREMASTER 3 (the Entered Apprentice and Entered Novitiate) and the Egyptian pantheon activated by [Norman] Mailer (Osiris, Isis, Set, Nephthys, Horus, Anubis, and Khepera). The mythologies inherent to these characters are met at each site with a set of local mythologies, symbolisms, and indigenous musical traditions as diverse as Native American, American, Mayan, and Celtic. Each performance employs local talent, while the set of characters inherent to CREMASTER 3 and Egyptian mythology continue to evolve and reappear, pervading the transformation of the automobile protagonist as it endures the seven soul states toward the journey of its three embodiments.

Here is another, regarding the work of the guy who did the sound/music, Jonathan Bepler (Fundament is listed as “A film by Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler”):

River of Fundament is characterized by musical performances directed according to the logic of the narrative: the story unfolds sculpturally, cinematically, and musically. Bepler uses speech and ambient rhythms as compositional elements, in addition to more traditionally-scored arias and recitatives. Sounds inherent to the landscape or action become part of the musical texture of the film, such that the setting itself becomes a musical instrument. The site-responsive nature of the music is also developed through the use of local musicians, both professional and amateur, whose performances further establish a sense of place in each scene.

Are you exhausted yet? Imagine sitting through six hours of this, which is also based on Norman Mailer’s critically reviled 1983 novel, Ancient Evenings. Some of Fundament’s scenes are striking as matter-of-fact documentary footage of some outrageous performance pieces, like stringed instruments being made out of sheet metal and iron workers casting a djed in a setting that looks downright volcanic:

[Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler, RIVER OF FUNDAMENT: KHU, 2014, Production Still, Photo: Hugo Glendinning, © Matthew Barney, Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.]

That stuff reminded me of a looking-glass Frederick Wiseman; an extremely dry, matter-of-fact documentation of surrealism. The bits about reincarnation and Norman Mailer’s wake and some CSI-esque search and battling and basically any sort of narrative thread the movie taunts you with reminded me of slow and miserable death.

I feel the passing of time, I watch it occur on my body, and I have less and less patience for that which doesn’t move me. I recently watched two episodes of Jessica Jones and decided that I simply did not care about what happened next, so I stopped. Ditto after three episodes of this season of Fargo. I do not think these are necessarily bad shows, I just know these are not my shows. I walk out of movies with increasing frequency (oh my god, The Peanuts Movie was excruciatingly odds-free). River of Fundament, which I gave up deciphering less than halfway through its first act and which screened for press at New York’s IFC Center last month, then, was a true test of endurance. I passed, but unfortunately derived little pleasure from this accomplishment. Below is a time-stamped chronicle of things that stuck out to me.

0:00 – We open on muddy water. Are we upstate? The camera pans over the interior of a cabin in the woods: beds, taxidermy, framed pictures. The camera moves slowly because, after all, we have six hours to fill.

2:22 – I see a river…of fundament?

5:08 – We’re in a flooded basement of what I think is a mansion, and there’s clumpy matter on the water’s surface. A human emerges. He does this slowly because, again, we have six hours. He walks upstairs, still surfacing, still slowly. Horns honk and drums tinker. I guess this is free jazz? I also think the guy we’re following is Matthew Barney.

8:30 – We’re in a room where servants are preparing for what will turn out to be the longest dinner party that I never attended. They do this in an open kitchen next to a dining room, which is next to a den (of sorts) that contains two big solid blocks that are as long as caskets and probably four feet high. I guess they are sarcophaguses and wonder for a while if “sarcophagi” is acceptable as a plural. Turns out it is. One of the sarcophagi looks to be made of ice; the other looks like it’s made out of tamago. I’m so hungry.

9:58 – Matthew Barney is in a bathroom. He opens the toilet to find what turns out to be a rather sturdy turd. It doesn’t break when he picks it up and wraps it in gold leaf that is sitting on top of the toilet tank. He puts the gilded turd back into the toilet. And scene!

12:14 – Just kidding, there’s more. Where the toilet was now stands a festering, decomposing man with a colostomy bag. A towel is wrapped around his waist. The towel also appears to be festering. Barney’s pants are at his ankles.

13:30 – The festering man opens his towel to reveal a penis that is also wrapped in gold leaf. Turds are awfully phallic, now that you mention it, Barney. Or are dicks turd-like? I begin to ponder which is the chicken and which is the egg in this dynamic, when a close-up reveals that the gilded cock is now twitching and somewhat erect. Now things are getting exciting, or so this movie tells me.

14:39 – Barney is getting fucked from behind by the gilded dick/shiny turd ringer. Easy go, easy come. What appears to be mercury leaks out of his hole like santorum. I can see the back of his balls. Not sure if they’re actually his (I don’t see his face as well), but let’s just say they are. :)

16:35 – The mercury travels under the bathroom door to a nearby room where a slightly bloody woman removes her prosthetic legs.

17:10 – There’s a shot of the BQE and then…TITLE.

24:20 – We are at the dinner party whose preparations we previously watched. Paul Giamatti is here in creep-mode. Fran Lebowitz tells a clearly grieving woman, “If you need anything—I know everybody says that and I don’t know what you’d need…” Lebowitz is then introduced to Elaine Stritch. As discussions about Norman Mailer’s brilliance amass, it is clear that this dinner party is his wake, and that this is a reflexive setting referring to River of Fundament’s source material, Mailer’s novel Ancient Evenings.

25:30 – Salman Rushdie stands on the balcony next to a pig that is being spit-roasted. Not a euphemism.

Or is it?

26:41 – Liz Smith is in the house.

29:00 – So much is happening. Elaine Stritch is eulogizing Mailer with a strong focus on the under-appreciated brilliance of American Evenings. A woman is passing her hands over a seated Giamatti. I assume that she is aligning his chakras without having any knowledge of what that actually looks like. A chamber band is tuning up, and it sounds like rotten fruit tastes. A man is feeding his doll-sized chiminea dry substances I cannot identify. Someone, perhaps Giamatti, is getting his bare feet massaged under the dinner table.

[Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler, RIVER OF FUNDAMENT, 2014, Production Still, Cinematography: Peter Strietmann, © Matthew Barney, Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.]

34:30 – Mercury/santorum pours from the chiminea.

35:27 – A cock on the small side of average barely hangs out of an open fly under the table. It’s supposed to belong to Giamatti.

36:20 – A salad is garnished with mealworms.

36:55 – Another Mailer tribute speech. This is like Rachel Getting Married, and somehow more excruciating even without Anne Hathaway.

41:20 – Live crickets that came out of a jar are being fried alive.

47:30 – We are now in L.A. at a Chrysler dealership, I believe. There’s a drumline. A man in the lot delivers a sermon, in which some words are sung for emphasis but most are spoken. He says things like, “Between piss and shit, we are born,” and, “Do I sit before you and fart?,” and “I had to swim the river of feces.” I relate somewhat, though I feel more like I’ve been treading water. “You have no gift for your trip to Southern California if you do not comprehend that shame and waste may be buried in shit, but so is many a rich and tender sentiment as well.” Well, we’ll just see about that.

[Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler, RIVER OF FUNDAMENT: REN, 2014, Production Still, Photo: Chris Winget, © Matthew Barney, Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.]

55:31 – A partly demolished car with a giant orb attached to its back that was pushed around the car lot by a group of people is now being stripped of its metal iconography.

1:00:10 – A guy with visible shit hanging off him has walked into the party. People hold their noses.

1:02:30 – Giamatti’s cock is still out.

1:03:23 – Very handsome pictures of a Trans Am are superimposed with a woman’s head under a veil. This would look lovely airing during a sports broadcast.

[Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler, RIVER OF FUNDAMENT: REN, 2014, Production Still, Photo: Chris Winge, © Matthew Barney, Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.]

1:06:20 – A disagreeable man, Eugene Perry, takes a piss on the giant tamago. I’m still hungry.

1:00:10 – Multiple people in the Chrysler showroom dressed on the border between business casual and business formal sing at the same time, but they’re all different songs. This is what preschool sounds like.

1:09:33 – The spit-roasted pig’s hoofs are also covered in gold leaf.

1:11:30 – This movie is just swimming with song babble. I’m exhausted but River of Fundament would never let me sleep. That’s technically torture, right?

1:14:20 – The roasted pig’s tongue is cut out.

1:16:40 – Giamatti is served the tongue of the pig. He remarks, “It is reserved for those who can absorb his greatness.”

1:18:13 – A woman wears a hairstyle in which her hair is parted, pulled tight against the length of her face, and braided under her chin. Why doesn’t everyone do this in winter? It’s extremely practical insulation from the cold, and it’s not like your hair is doing anything but just sitting there, anyway.

1:20:00 – Giamatti is in the bathroom, which now is lit by open gas flames on the wall. He says, “You see, whatever shortcomings I may have had, whatever I might have lacked in dedication, piety, bravery, or martial spirit, were nonetheless all present in my stool. And my stool would cultivate the earth and bring forth the most splendid herbs and vegetables, flowers, and spices to enrich those priests and officers most devoted to the Life-Health-Strength of our city.” Again, I relate.

1:23:16 – A man chirps like a laryngitic bird outside the bathroom.

1:27:45 – One time on America’s Next Top Model, Tyra Banks advised a girl to correct her pose by using these words: “Hoe, but make it fashion.” I assume the direction for what’s going on aurally now was, “Speak in tongues, but make it art.”

1:33:20 – In the Chrysler show room, a Mexican woman is stomping on a box that is surrounded by roaches.

1:34:08 – A thin black plastic tarp that’s something like 12’ x 8’, if not more, is pulled out of a woman’s ass. It is used to cover the Trans Am (and a woman who’s sleeping over it).

[Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler, RIVER OF FUNDAMENT: REN, 2014, Production Still, Photo: Chris Winge, © Matthew Barney, Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.]

1:36:35 – Dick Cavett is at the dinner party.

1:43:35 – Debbie Harry is on the balcony. Eugene Perry joins her after having interrupted a song that was happening inside by wordlessly bellowing. At best, he did everyone a favor. At worst, he just provided another layer to the din.

1:47:37 – People are blowing into things like horns and recorders. They are playing music like no one’s listening. This is about 5,000 times less joyous than dancing like nobody’s watching.

1:49:50 – A man is pushing a dead or plastic cow through the water in the basement, which also now reminds me of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney World.

1:51: 56 – It’s a real cow. Are cow’s vulvas between their heads and udders? No, right? I guess that’s just a manmade slit, then?

1:52:15 – It’s a manmade slit.

1:53:00 – He’s pulling a dead baby cow out of the slit. Maybe it is a vulva?

1:54:24 – He just crawled into the cow.

1:54:41 – Mercifully, we have reached our first intermission. A difficult movie is sometimes like a conversation with someone that you can’t hear because they aren’t speaking loudly enough as you wonder if they aren’t speaking loudly enough because they simply can’t be bothered to do so. I’m given a stack of press notes and consistently surprised at the synopsis of what I am in the middle of watching—these characters supposedly have names that aren’t the names of the actors playing them (even though many, like Lebowitz and Stritch, do play themselves). They have backgrounds and purposes. I read an introduction stating that, “Mailer’s protagonist, the nobleman Menenhetet I, uses magic and trickery to become reincarnated three times in the womb of his wife, who then becomes his new mother.” The idea that any character has agency throws me; the only agency that I was aware of for the past two hours was Barney’s. I resolve to look harder. I know this will prove futile, but all I can do is try.

I am less surprised to discover that Barney has cast himself as a god, Osiris.

I go to a nearby CVS and buy a sensible snack of string cheese and almonds mixed with walnuts.

2:10:18 – Mercilessly, we resume right where we left off. A man who looks like the one who went in, but is in fact, a different actor, emerges from the cow. He milks it a little.

2:13:03 – Maggie Gyllenhaal is in the house.

2:20:25 – There is a probably dead man in a golden straightjacket in a mostly-gold tomb.

[Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler, RIVER OF FUNDAMENT: KHU, 2014, Production Still, Photo: David Regen, © Matthew Barney, Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.]

2:21:48 – There’s the Gold Trans am that we saw in Act 1 in the middle of a church, which I think is in Detroit? Someone mentioned Detroit last act. Trans Ams, too. It’s all coming together. (It’s not at all coming together.)

2:29:15 – The guy is out of the ambulance parked in the church that held his tomb, and now sits in the gold Trans Am. Eugene Perry stabbed its windshield with a crowbar, which had the effect of triggering the gas, and what ensues is a car chase—the police are pursuing the Trans Am.

2:32:21 – The Trans Am goes over a guard rail to plunge into a river…of fundament?

[Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler, RIVER OF FUNDAMENT: KHU, 2014
Production Still, Cinematography: Peter Strietmann, © Matthew Barney, Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.

2:33:09 – We are indeed in Detroit and it’s winter. It’s cold enough in the theater to make this feel like a 4D experience.

2:34:30 – Eugene Perry eats a head of lettuce (or maybe it’s cabbage) by holding it in his hand and biting it directly, as though it’s an apple. He eats it angrily. I guess it’s cabbage, then.

2:36:30 – Ugh, we’re back at the dinner party. We can’t leave. This is like The Exterminating Angel but with less hope.

2:38:35 – A man pisses off Mailer’s balcony. A woman holds his penis has he does.

2:42:17 – Back in Detroit, an investigation is underway. Snakes have been found in a detached golden sleeve of, I guess, the straitjacket. Said one investigator, “My guess is that it was in the river.” Of fundament? Now everyone is singing, giving this scene the air of a CSI episode in which all of its characters whoop melodically.

2:52:30 – The main investigator, as far as I can tell, a woman, as far as I can tell, pulls down her pants and sits on an engine of a car that has been found. Prior to doing this, she put the snakes in it.

2:58:00 – At the dinner party, the sound of steam coming out of pipes is manipulated by a trombone’s slide that’s hooked up. People slow dance to this.

3:07:50 – The dinner party is full of human sounds. One approximates what would happen if a guy beatboxed while he was jerking off.

3:12:30 – I take a pee break and think about how little this movie has made me think. It’s an endless stream of images—some novel, some provocative, most confounding—that washes over me as though I’m chained to the the bottom of a river…of fundament. “The problem is,” I say to myself as I’m reentering the theater, “that this movie isn’t making me feel anything.” A moment later, while ascending the steps to get back to my seat, I hit my head on a speaker attached to the wall. I felt that, at least.

3:14:10 – At the dinner party, an unintelligible story about Isis and Nephthys is told by a guy wearing a ponytail and a bolo tie. Someone else sings along (which, per the movie’s ethos, merely means signing at the same time with no regard for what else is being sung) in a melismatic, R&B style.

3:17:16 – A diseased or extremely hemorrhoidal anus shits out greenish diarrhea as people vocalize in various styles (R&B, hip-hop, auntie in church, whining) about Isis.

3:21:30 – A woman playing a banjo in her lap, like an autoharp, is singing about Osiris now. I strikes me that to even have a shot of understanding what’s going on, you need not only a deep familiarity with the material, but of what is happening in Matthew Barney’s head. Well, at least one person on earth will leave the theater very, very satisfied.

3:25:11 – Back in Detroit, one of the investigators whom I will later look up and discover goes by the name of Jennie Knaggs, is making such a mean face that you’d swear she had a mouth full of cabbage. But her yelps confirm that she does not. Her fury reminds me Sinead O’Connor’s on SNL. Did you watch that live? It was so chilling.

[Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler, RIVER OF FUNDAMENT: KHU, 2014, Production Still, Photo: Hugo Glendinning, © Matthew Barney, Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.]

3:28:53 – This movie is like Glee, grown up and with an obscene amount of money. Its songs are now ongoing no real choruses, verses, or hooks. It’s like Les Miserables, except you’re the one who’s truly miserable.

I’m realizing now that no matter where my mind goes, some Anne Hathaway-related project is nearby.

3:31:07 – The other investigator, who reminds me of Patricia Arquette, was outfitted in a chain mail hood and is ranting in Autotune. I think she’s being taken away.

3:34:51 – There are 25 minutes left in the act, but I feel resigned to spending my life here.

3:35:21 – Maggie Gyllenhaal is singing, and my mind wanders back to that scene in Sherrybaby when she sang “Eternal Flame.” God, that was a terrible movie, and yet, I’d give anything to be watching it. I’d give my all to have just one more night with Sherrybaby. I read reviews of Sherrybaby on my dimmed iPhone for a few minutes. (Don’t worry—there were at most 10 other people in the theater with me, and all were sitting too far for my illuminated reading material to disturb them.) Hilarious that it was considered an Oscar contender at one point. Everyone gets a little loopy in the fall.

3:39:09 – There’s a close-up on Not Patricia Arquette’s chain mail. It’s gold like the leaf on the shit and the pig’s knuckles. I wonder for a time what incentive there is to understand any of this. In Act 1, at the dinner party, there was a discussion about a painting and one character pointed out that art is nothing to get mad about; if you don’t like it, walk away. That echoes mockingly in my head, given my assignment and also that movies are much harder to walk away from.

I heard a rumor Kanye West walked out of the world premiere of this movie at BAM after its first act. When he’s right, he’s right.

[Kanye West at the River of Fundament premiere on February 12, 2014, via Getty]

3:48:20 – A woman in a purple dress and a gold shawl wearing purple eye shadow stands in front of a cop car that what I think is an albino vulture is perched upon. Men dressed like manual laborers stand on both sides of the car. They are wearing construction hats and gas masks. The bird spreads its wings. It looks slightly insecure, as though doing so reveals an abnormally small penis. (It does not, grow up ya big bird.)

[Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler, RIVER OF FUNDAMENT: KHU, 2014, Production Still, Photo: Hugo Glendinning, © Matthew Barney, Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.]

3:52:32 – The house in which the dinner party was happening—Mailer’s—is on a barge that rides on Newtown Creek, I think? It will eventually ride on the East River.

[Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler, RIVER OF FUNDAMENT, 2014, Production Still, Photo: David Regen, © Matthew Barney, Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.]

3:53:54 – I bet Madonna wishes she were in this, and if she wasn’t asked, I bet she feels very insecure about that.

3:54:30 – A woman on the balcony gurgles water.

3:56:20 – A woman is doing a backbend in a car. Something emerges from her vagina. It is a baby bird. Its feathers are wet, naturally.

3:58:00 – We reach our second intermission. I go to a nearby Juice Generation and buy a kale and avocado salad, which I have been loving lately. And, like, now I just, like, wanna eat salad. It’s, like, crazy. It’s, like, that’s what I’m craving, so, like, that’s what I’m having for lunch.

4:14:23 – We resume on buildings. Then we see that everything on the dinner party table has decomposed, but nothing to the extent of my soul.

4:16:50 – The man with the golden dick is back. I wonder if Barney wants me to think about Austin Powers in Goldmember, or if this is purely accidental.

4:19:30 – In the dinner party room, a man peers into someone’s gaping asshole. Otherwise, the room contains several people who are covered in ash and barely clothed.

4:22:00 – The guy is now rimming the butthole.

4:24:25 – Another moment, another nude woman in a backbend. This time it’s on a table in the dinner-party room. Water sprays from her vagina. I believe this is factually correct and that she isn’t urinating, but who really knows what anything is, at this point?

4:33:08 – There is a standoff between two black men. One, who appears to be younger than his adversary, Eugene Perry, wears an outfit made of white towels. He lifts another man wearing a blue leather sweat suit off the ground using a crowbar, very much like the one that was plunged into the Trans Am.

[Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler, RIVER OF FUNDAMENT: BA, 2014, Production Still, Photo: Hugo Glendinning, © Matthew Barney, Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.]

4:34:07 – Eugene Perry wears but a single towel and holds his own crowbar. He hits a guy in a pimp suit on the head with it gently. The guy falls into a split and is picked back up with the crowbar. Very avant street fighting. Left of West Side Story. Breakin’ 3: Broke.

[Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler, RIVER OF FUNDAMENT: BA, 2014, Production Still, Photo: Hugo Glendinning, © Matthew Barney, Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.]

4:26:20 – In an office adjacent to a mechanic’s garage, a black woman in a hijab and a white woman touch their pregnant bellies. This means they are lovers, I decide. One of the things I believe in most strongly is that if you can imagine something within the realm of human possibility, it has happened. And so, this imagery makes me think that in history, at least one woman who is attracted to other women became pregnant and found herself specifically craving other pregnant women. I hope that worked out for her.

4:37:15 – A man receives a colonic.

4:37:35 – Two men have a cage fight.

4:39:45 – The pregnant women kiss.

4:40:16 – The woman in the hijab removes one of her eyes (it’s glass) and places it on the other’s butthole. It sits just on the edge. I think of Sandy Duncan and Wheat Thins.

4:41:51 – The woman in the hijab pushes a cigar that looks like a turd (it is not wrapped in gold leaf) into the other’s vagina. Fingers get bitten off in the cage fight.

4:44:50 – The guy who fought Eugene Perry now has a bandaged eye, as one of the cage fighters also had an eye injury.

4:47:48 – Eugene Perry and the guy with the injured eye trade insults at the dinner-party table. Underneath, injured eye guy’s penis is hard. A woman masturbates him. Two other people take lettuce and put it over his cock like a sex toy.

5:04:30 – OK, so I did fall asleep. Molten sulfur was poured into a mold in the drydock where Eugene Perry and his adversary fought. (See the top of this post for a shot of that setting.) I caught that. Also, Ellen Burstyn is in the house, playing Hathfertiti, the role previously played by Maggie Gyllenhaal and some little girl. I don’t really know what her purpose is, but I have picked up that the three of them have been called this name.

[Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler, RIVER OF FUNDAMENT, 2014, Production Still, Photo: Keith Riley, © Matthew Barney, Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.]

5:16:18 – I might have fallen asleep again. Burstyn is singing, “I bequeath myself to the dirt.” Same.

5:20:50 – A man that I think is a taxidermist but who turns out to be Norman (who may still be a taxidermist?) cleans a bison. He climbs all the way in. That’s all animals are good for: hollowing out and climbing in.

5:22:31 – Norman Mailer’s widow (who is referred to exactly as such in the credits, she doesn’t even have a name!) is on the balcony of the barge-driven house saying “Graves!” in a gravely yowl.

5:25:46 – The guy with the colostomy bag cuts off part of his belly. Norman eats it.

5:34:21 – Landscapes and shit. Landscapes and shit. Repeating images. It occurs to me that this movie is Barney’s Biophilia and fuck no I do not want the app to decode it. Imagine getting this!

5:37:39 – Oh my god it’s over. I’m free. After almost six hours, I’m left with less than a reality TV binge-watching session. I love the idea of something self-consciously high-brow so focused on shit. I wish there were more of it in the literal sense. Metaphorically, though, The River of Fundament was well stocked.

[Top image credit: Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler, RIVER OF FUNDAMENT: BA, 2014, Production Still, Photo: Hugo Glendinning, © Matthew Barney, Courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.]