Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

River of Fundament directed by Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler (USA, 2014, 319 min.)

Friday, Sep. 16, 2016 – Sunday, Sep. 18, 2016


In collaboration with composer Jonathan Bepler, Matthew Barney combines traditional modes of narrative cinema with filmed elements of performance, sculpture, and opera inspired by Norman Mailer’s 1983 novel Ancient Evenings, a hypersexual story of Egyptian gods and the seven stages of reincarnation, 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, Deborah Harry, Jonas Mekas, and more. Alluring and intense, this epic, multidimensional experience is a sprawling allegory of death and rebirth within the contemporary American landscape.

About the Film

This operatic film totals 5h 50min run time and is presented over two nights (Act I on Friday, September 16, and Acts II and III on Saturday, September 17), or viewers can watch the film in its entirety on Sunday, September 18 beginning at 2 pm.

Film Schedule

  • Friday, September 16, 7 pm, Act I with an Introduction by Bill Arning, Director of CAMH
  • Saturday, September 17, 6 pm, Act II | 8:10 pm Act III
  • Sunday, September 18, 2 pm, Act I| 4 pm Act II | 6:10 pm Act III

Act I: 115 min., Act II: 108 min., Act III: 96 min.
Includes two 20-minute intermissions

CAMH is a community partner to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in their presentation of River of Fundament.

Related Links

Learn more here.


  • Tuesday - Wednesday, 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
    Thursday, 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
    Friday, 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
    Saturday, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
    Sunday, 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
    Closed Monday, New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day
  • Tickets available for purchase at MFAH.org. CAMH members receive a discount code; e-mail membership@camh.org for details.

Directions & Parking

  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Brown Auditorium

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