CalArts Faculty Thom Andersen Screens Two Films in LA This Weekend

CalArts School of Film faculty member Thom Andersen screens two films this weekend in Los Angeles: the world premiere of the restoration of his 1975 documentary Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer and his latest film, Reconversão (Reconversion [2012]). Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer shows at UCLA’s Billy Wilder Theater in the Hammer Museum on Saturday (March 9) at 7:30 pm, and Reconversão screens at Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian on March 10 at 7:30 pm.

Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer

As part of the UCLA Festival of Preservation, Eadweard Muybridge: Zoopraxographer is an hour-long documentation of the pioneering photographer’s life and work. Muybridge (1830-1904) was known for his photographic studies of motion and a device for projecting these images. His most famous photos of a galloping horse were commissioned by then-governor of California Leland Stanford to settle a question of whether all four of the animal’s legs left the ground when galloping.

Film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader has described Eadward Muybridge, Zoopraxographer as “one of the best essay films ever made on a cinematic subject.”

Andersen’s film has been enlarged to 35mm and re-timed so that the colors match more closely with the tinting of Muybridge’s original photographs and photogravures. Some sections of the work have been digitally restored as well. Following the screening, films from 1900-1902 preserved from the Library of Congress Paper Print Collection will also be shown.

Below is clip from the original film, Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer, in which Dean Stockwell narrates an account of Muybridge’s marriage and notorious homicide charge:


Presented by Los Angeles Filmforum, Andersen’s latest film, Reconversão (Reconversion), is a 67-minute film about the work of the northern Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto Moura. Although the film was screened in Los Angeles and elsewhere in 2012, this will be the first presentation of the work with its final sound mix.

From the film’s Vimeo page:

Reconversão combines the crudeness of proto-cinema with the hyperrealism of digital cinema, bringing us back to the ideals of Dziga Vertov. Shooting only one or two frames per second and animating the images, in the manner of Muybridge, produces greater resolution, although not necessarily a greater sense of reality, and brings attention to the movements of water and vegetation that generally pass unnoticed.

View the film’s trailer.

Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer
Billy Wilder Theater, Hammer Museum

10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles
March 9, 7:30 pm
Tickets: $10

Spielberg Theatre, the Egyptian
6712 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles
March 10, 7:30 pm
Tickets: Filmforum members free, students (with ID) and seniors $6 ($7.20 w/ fee), general admission $10 ($11.34 w/ fee)

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