Cremaster 3 Characters


The Entered Apprentice
Matthew Barney
The Entered Apprentice is the protagonist of Cremaster 3 (Entered Apprenticeship is the first degree of Masonic initiation). He is first seen trowelling concrete over the Nirosta steel gas caps of the 1967 Chrysler Crown Imperials in the lobby of the Chrysler Building. As the cars smash into a 1930 Chrysler Imperial New Yorker, the Apprentice scales an elevator shaft. He casts an ashlar in an elevator car, cheating on his Masonic initiation (the ashlar is a stone that is supposed to be carved by Masonic Initiation). As punishment, hitmen from the Syndicate track him down and smash his teeth. In a dental office in the Chrysler Building, the architecht fits dentures made from the smashed 1930 Chrysler into the Apprentice's mouth, causing his rectum to prolapse.

At the end of the film, the Apprentice rises from the dental chair and continues to climb upwards towards the Architect. When the Apprentice eventually reaches the Architect he kills him, but is killed by the Chrysler building at the same instant.

The Apprentice also appears as the competitor in the game played inside the Guggenheim Museum (bottom picture) during the interlude called “the Order”.

Hiram Abiff, The Architect
Richard Serra
In Cremaster 3, Hiram Abiff (Biblical architect of the Temple of King Solomon and an important figure in Freemasonry) appears as the chief architect of the Chrysler Building. He works in an office atop the Chrysler building as it is constructed around him. Nervous about the progress of the building, he builds two pillars inside his office, eventually climbing one to reach the apex of the building. While basking in the triumph of the completion of his building, the Architect is murdered by the Entered Apprentice.
Gary Gilmore
Nesrin Karanouh
Gary Gilmore makes a brief appearance as a female corpse at the beginning of Cremaster 3. Gilmore has transformed into a female through the magic of Houdini. The corpse is escorted into the lobby of the Chrysler Building by five boy undertakers. She is placed in the back of a 1930 Chrysler Imperial New Yorker, which is then rammed repeatedly by five 1967 Chrysler Crown imperials. The wreck of this car (presumably with Gilmore’s crushed body inside) is later inserted into the Entered Apprentice’s mouth, causing his rectum to prolapse.
Grand Masters
Mike Borchetti, David Edward Campbell, James Pantoleon, Joe Tooey
The Grand Masters meet in the Cloud Club Bar to determine the fate of the Entered Apprentice, who must be punished for cheating on his initiation rites. They find the Apprentice at the Saratoga Springs racetrack and smash his teeth in, then bring him back to a dental office in the Chrysler Building, where dentures made from the crushed 1930 Imperial are inserted in his mouth. Later, they annoint the Architect with ribbons at the top of the Chrysler Building.
Cloud Club Maitr D’
Paul Brady
The Maitr D’ accompanies the Entered Apprentice in playing a ballad inside the Chrysler Building’s Cloud Club. He sings several songs in Gaelic with lyrics that poetically narrate the construction of the building.
Cloud Club Barman
Terry Gillespie
The Barman attempts to serve the Apprentice a pint of Guinness, but winds up making a huge mess in one of the few comic scenes in the Cremaster cycle.
Cloud Club Potato Woman/The Apprentice’s Moll
Aimee Mullins
These two women may or may not be the same character (both are played by the same actress). During the Cloud Club scene, a woman sits on the floor next to the bar slicing potatoes with blades on the soles of her shoes. She cuts the potatoes into wedges, which she slides under the bar, throwing it (and by extension the entire Chrysler Building) out of alignment. The Moll accompanies the Apprentice to Saratoga Springs, where he has his teeth smashed by members of the Syndicate.
Fionn MacCumhail
Peter D. Badalamenti
Fionn is the Irish Giant seen in the prologue/epilogue of Cremaster 3. According to Celtic legend, the Giant’s Causeway was built between Ireland and Scotland to facilitate a battle between Fionn and the Scottish giant Fingal. Fionn defeats Fingal by dressing up like a baby and then biting off Fingal’s magic finger. Throwing a rock at the fleeing Fingal, Fionn creates the Isle of Man, location of Cremaster 4.
Oonagh MacCumhail
Aimee Mullins
Oonagh is the wife of Fionn. She devises the plan for Fionn to trick Fingal by dressing like a baby.
Fingal
The Mighty Biggs
Fingal is theScottish giant who appears in the prologue/epilogue of Cremaster 3. After Fionn bites off his magic finger, Fingal runs back to Scotland, destroying the Giant’s Causeway in his wake
The Order
1st Degree - The Order of the Rainbow for Girls
The Order of the Rainbow for Girls represent the chorus girls of Cremaster 1 but they wear lamb costumes. The lamb is a symbol of innocence and the First Degree of Masonic Initiation. The Apprentice must crawl under their legs to complete the first level.
2nd Degree - Agnostic Front Vs. Murphy's Law
Members of the hardcore bands Murphy's Law and Agnostic Front are shown performing on cast salt stages on the second level, referencing the "Johnny Cash" band in Cremaster 2 and the salt rodeo arena where Gary Gilmore is executed in Cremaster 2. On this level, the Apprentice must solve a puzzle set into the floor and retrieve a set of Masonic tools from underneath the feet of punks moshing to the music of the two bands.
3rd Degree - The Entered Novitiate
Aimee Mullins
The Entered Novitiae is the female alter-ego of the Entered Apprentice and represents both the central theme of Narcissism and an alternate path for the organism. At the moment she and the Apprentice give each other the Masonic embrace, the Novitiate changes into a cheetah and attacks the Apprentice. The Apprentice must slay her to complete the Order. As he kills her by striking her three times with his tools, her death is echoed by the murders of the Architect and the Apprentice atop the Chrysler Building.
4th Degree - The Five Points of Fellowship
The Apprentice must hurl large bagpipe pipes into a plastic Laughton Ram to complete the fourth level. The five pipes represent the five points of Masonic fellowship. The design of the end of the pipes that pierces the ram is based on the face of a five-week-old fetus.
5th Degree - Richard Serra
Richard Serra, who plays the Architecht for most of Cremaster 3, plays himself at the fifth level of the Order. He hurls molten Vaseline against the ramp of the Guggenheim Museum. The flow of the molten Vaseline provides the timer for the Order -- the Apprentice must complete his tasks before it reaches the bottom of the ramp.

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