Drawing Restraint 9
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Shot in Nagasaki Bay on board the Japanese whaling ship Nisshin Maru. The relationship between self-imposed resistance and creativity, a theme that symbolically tracks through the construction and transformation of a vast sculpture of liquid vaseline, called 'The Field', which is molded, poured, bisected and reformed on the deck of the ship over the course of the film. Barriers hold form in place, and when they are removed, the film tracks the descent of form into states of sensual surrender and formal atrophy. This shift in the physical state of the sculpture is symbolically mirrored… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 57%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Drawing Restraint 9 belongs to an endangered species of experimental film that walks the line between challenging and alienating its audience."
‑ John Monaghan, Detroit Free Press
"Doesn't advance the Barney oeuvre an inch past where he left it with his massive, megalomaniacal opus known as the Cremaster series."
‑ Philip Kennicott, Washington Post
"A work as vast, monstrous, and mysteriously graceful as a whale."
‑ Anton Bitel, Film4
"Offers no restraint on the writer/director's penchant for weird esoterica."
‑ Thomas Delapa, Boulder Weekly
"It is a series of lyrical ambiguities filtered through the prism of Japanese religious and whaling cultures that defy literal interpretation even as they are sculpted into physical significance."
‑ Duane Dudek, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Sitting through the film's tedious unfolding can be an interesting mental exercise."
‑ Bob Townsend, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Moby ick."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Conventional storytelling may not be Barney's thing, but he has a superb cinematic eye, an incredible imagination and the wherewithal to make his visions happen."
‑ Robert W. Butler, Kansas City Star
"A refreshing break from mind-numbing Hollywood movies, but it may fail to win you over"
‑ Marty Mapes, Movie Habit
"Throughout, Barney drowns the screen in arresting images ... that nail your eyes to the screen."
‑ Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle
"Like John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Double Fantasy, a surreal, vaguely plausible explanation of why two people are crazy about each other."
‑ Wesley Morris, Boston Globe
"Allegedly all these incidents connect symbolically in Barney's mind, but in the viewer's, they thud, inert and separate as stones."
‑ Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle
"However enigmatic this all might be, there is no denying that Barney has assembled some rivetingly beautiful images."
‑ David Noh, Film Journal International
"What is undeniable is that this, even more than Barney's previous work, is a film of outrageous, startling ingenuity and beauty."
‑ Leo Goldsmith, Not Coming to a Theater Near You
"Hugely tedious...this turgid, opaque, whale-obsessed fiasco might be described as one big, festering hunk of blubber."
‑ Frank Swietek, One Guy's Opinion
More reviews for Drawing Restraint 9 on Rotten Tomatoes