Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxagrapher
UCLA Festival of Preservation
(Thom Andersen, USA, 1975, 35mm 59 min)
Part of our Folk Heroes Double Feature!
Wednesday, Nov 13 at 07:00PM
One hundred years after his invention of the zoopraxiscopethe world's first motion picture projectorEadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer tells the story of Muybridge's life and work during an explosive turning point in photographic history.
Thom Andersen's first feature announced the arrival of one of America's most significant documentary auteurs. Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer is at once a biography of Muybridge, a re-animation of his historic sequential photographs, and an inspired examination of their philosophical implications.
If the film seems born fully-formed, this is in no small part due to intensive pre-conceptualization. Writing first in the pages of Film Culture in 1966, Andersen established the framework that would ultimately inform the completed work before it materialized. Working in collaboration with prominent artists and scholars including filmmaker Morgan Fisher (who helped edit the final work), composer Mike Cohen, Muybridge biographer Robert Bartlett Haas, and narrator Dean Stockwell, Anderson took the visual idea as raw material and expanded it into a profound meditation on the nature of vision.
The "zoopraxography" of the title speaks to both Muybridge's practice of motion studyas distinct from photographyand his 1879 device, which enabled the images' projection. As such, it foregrounds Muybridge's role in the invention of cinema, and cinema itself as an illusion arising from stillness.
Preservation funding for Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer provided by the Packard Humanities Institute."
Northwest Film Forum (View)
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Seattle, WA 98122