Karlovy fest to tout ‘Cremaster’

Pic series part of event's nontraditional programming

Czechs are gearing up for an artistic bent to Karlovy Vary as organizers announced Thursday that celebrated bad boy Matthew Barney will present his “Cremaster” series at the west Bohemian fest.

Barney’s showing of the five-part series, dubbed by critics “a Wagneresque Ring of the Nebelung for the 21st century,” marks a first for the Czech Republic’s main international fest, a curated melding of major American art and film.

Endeavoring to achieve the star power established last year with honorees Sharon Stone and Robert Redford, the 41st Karlovy Vary gala is touting Barney as “a fantastic, indecipherable riddle, offering a deluge of one-of-a-kind images.”

What the auds of backpackers will make of Barney’s eight-year project, started in 1996 and involving collaboration with Bjork, is anyone’s guess. But the fest, running June 30-July 8, is clearly not shy about expanding its horizons with nontraditional programming.

The coup comes amid concerns that some other films slated, specifically those from Czech helmers, may cancel as part of the ongoing protest over parliament’s failure to pass a tax to fund local pic production.

Bizzers in Prague, who failed to win passage of a tax on exhibitors, distributors and terrestrial broadcasters, now say they are seeking direct state subsidies when parliament convenes again after the June 2-3 elections.

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