You probably know Edward Muybridge. You might have seen his motion picture projection with horses that spins like a merry-go-round in a museum. Or you might have heard that he shot and killed his wife’s lover (the wife was also his cousin). But just like with William Burroughs, it’s one thing to know about beats and the shooting, and something completely different to encounter the man’s ouevre in its uncensored, untamed entirety.
This short but exhaustive film is a great primer on Muybridge that made me develop a much bigger appreciation for him than seeing his work in museums has ever done. The most fascinating thing: his work, unlike that of Lumieres, Edison, etc., was truly transgressive. Same-sex love, body positivity, people of different races, ages and abilities were all subjects of his works. How did we go from such diversity to a 100 years of predominantly white, heterosexual, able-bodied cinema? And why did we swap the blessed nudity for the puritanical? Sigh.
Eadweard Muybridge – Zoopraxographer, 1975
Director: Thom Andersen