The ever-enigmatic Matthew Barney and Bjork avoided working together for the first several years of their relationship, instead focusing on their individual pursuits (like transforming themselves into satyrs
, respectively). In 2005, the pair threw caution to the wind and finally paired up on a project—Barney’s feature-length film Drawing Restraint 9
, for which Bjork composed the entire 2.5-hour soundtrack and served as the female lead (opposite Barney).
Barney described his decision to cast his wife in the film as more practical than personal. “I don’t know how to direct actors,” he said, “so telling a love story was simply easier with a real-life template, without getting involved in a level of theater that I'm not equipped to direct.” In turn, Bjork described the composing for her partner’s film as quite the challenge. “It was like solving a murder mystery, like Agatha Christie,” she said. “He gave me clues like, ‘children, nocturnal, magical march.’”
If you dare, watch the romantic climax of the film, as the two leads kiss in a sinking whaling vessel before ritualistically cutting strips of flesh from each other’s legs...or just enjoy the two takes on the couple by their artist contemporaries.