Eklund on Muybridge

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Michael Eklund is growing out his beard for his new role in the upcoming feature about early 20th century photographer and filmmaking pioneer, Eadweard Muybridge.

Photograph by: Arlen Redekop , PNG

 

Hollywood North: Michael Eklund pioneers a new look

for Vancouver-shot feature Eadweard

By Mark Leiren-Young, Special to The Vancouver Sun June 27, 2013

If there was a Leo Award for “best beard,” actor Michael Eklund would have won by acclamation.

Instead, Eklund got to show off his old-style face bush when he recently accepted an award for Best Performance by a Male in a Feature Length Drama for his role in Errors of the Human Body at B.C.’s annual film and television prize party earlier in June.

Eklund was already riding high on the success of The Call — Oscar winner Halle Barry’s surprise box office smash — where he played a serial killer who kidnaps Abigail Breslin (an Oscar nominee for Little Miss Sunshine).

Said Eklund, “Yes, they are both as beautiful and cool in real life.”

Both movies — along with a third film, Ferocious — debuted in theatres in the last three months.

Talking to The Sun in the lobby of the Westin Bayshore during the awards ceremonies, Eklund explained that his current facial fur is meant for his new role in the upcoming feature about early 20th century photographer and filmmaking pioneer, Eadweard Muybridge, which goes to camera in and around Vancouver on Canada Day.

The movie is directed by Kyle Rideout and produced by Josh Epstein, who co-wrote the script. Eklund said the low budget project was love at first read.

“When they first sent me the script I had no idea who they were or who this Eadweard Muybridge character was. After I turned the last page of the script I felt I needed to know everything about this mysterious sweaty-toothed madman, as well as the talented artists who wrote it and sent it to me.

“You do not read too many scripts like this. Every actor knows that feeling when they find it. For me, it was beautiful yet dangerous, soiled and yet whitened. All these words also describe the man who was Eadweard Muybridge. I was ready to sink my own sweaty teeth upon the goal to find out more.”

Currently known as Eadweard, the film will feature over 150 extras, 40 actors, 50 locations, period costumes, animals, children and “a stage coach squished with passion,” Eklund said. “The word ‘collaborative’ sums it up perfectly as the whole community seems to be involved.”

Epstein said that not only did the local film community embrace the making of the movie, the theatre community did as well.

“We’re making a $3 million dollar movie on a very, very low budget so we’ve been getting amazing resources from a lot of the theatre companies in town: The now defunct Playhouse, the Electric Company, the Arts Club, Studio 58, Playhouse Theatre, Chemainus the Renegade Arts Society, and also theatre lighting people and costume people,” Epstein said when interviewed last weekend at the Jessie Awards, where the popular stage actor (last seen in the Arts Club’s remount of The Craigslist Cantata) performed a song-and-dance number celebrating the Vancouver theatre scene.

“It’s sort of a mesh of film and theatre people helping us out. It’s a highly ambitious, epic indie film. Very epic.”

A native of Saskatoon, Eklund recalled falling in love with the movies as a five-year-old when his mom took him to a Sunday matinee, “planting the seed of magic inside of me.”

Determined to perform like his matinee idols Eklund spent the next decade auditioning for school plays — and not getting cast.

Unable to convince the world he was an actor, Eklund enrolled in art school to study painting. It didn’t take long before he was dropping out, packing his stuff and his dreams in a U-Haul and heading West to Vancouver to take a shot at stardom.

Eklund credited persistence and “the power of being so naive” for landing a top agent despite a complete lack of acting experience.”

The agent wasn’t the only one who saw potential — practically every casting agent in B.C. did.

Over the last few years Eklund has been featured on almost every major series shot here including Smallville, Supernatural, Intelligence and Alcatraz.

Eklund saw his latest role as a chance to explore the origins of his passion for moviemaking.

“I discovered that Eadweard Muybridge was a man who could stop time, a man obsessed with freezing motion. His work unknowingly was creating and inspiring the basis for moving pictures. He was the pioneer of film. And without him and his work the actual film we are making based on him could not have been made.”

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

‘Muybridge’ shooting next week

sara_canning_a_pSara Canning           Getty Images

From The Hollywood Reporter:

“The Vampire Diaries actress Sara Canning, Ian Tracey and Jodi Balfour have joined the cast of the untitled psychological drama centered on Eadweard Muybridge.

Michael Eklund is starring in the Canadian indie, which is being directed by Kyle Rideout and produced by Josh Epstein. Rideout and Epstein were behind Wait for Rain, a short that won best science fiction/fantasy at last year’s Comic-Con International Film Festival. The Muybridge project is their first feature. Also joining the cast are Christopher Heyerdahl and Torrance Combs. The movie begins principal photography next week in Vancouver…….

Canning will play Muybridge’s wife, while Balfour will be one of the photographer’s models who became the focus of some of his very first nudes. Tracey will portray the founder of Stanford University who enlists Muybridge’s services to win a famous bet over whether a horse had all four hooves off the ground while galloping. Canning stars in Primeval: New World, the North American version of the hit BBC sci-fi show. Tracey has appeared in the popular Canadian sci-fi show Continuum and appeared in Man of Steel and A&E’s Bates Motel. Balfour is one of the stars of CBC’s acclaimed show Bomb Girls.”

Gary Oldman to film ‘Flying Horse’?

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From indiewire.com

“Gary Oldman Eyeing Ralph Fiennes & Benedict Cumberbatch For His Sophomore Directorial Effort ‘Flying Horse’

NEWS: BY KEVIN JAGERNAUTH

It has been seventeen years since Gary Oldman dropped his feature length directorial debut and cult fave “Nil By Mouth,” but he hasn’t yet followed it up anything. Not that he’s been short of ideas. Back in 2011, he said he wanted to team up Colin Firth for an unnamed remake, while in early 2012 he said he had a project about a sex addict he wanted to direct. Well, the good news is that Oldman does have a new directorial effort cooking, and the surprising part is that’s none of those.
Instead, it’s a biopic of Eadweard Muybridge called “Flying Horse,” and even more, he’s seeking his “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” co-stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Ralph Fiennes to star. Penned by Oldman, the movie would tell the story of the photographer instrumental in helping to develop motion pictures. But the movie will focus on the more tabloid part of his life, with Muybridge mudering a theater critic who was had an affair with his wife, and fathered a child in the process. Scandal!

If all goes to plan, Fiennes would take the role of Muybridge, Oldman the smaller role of his attorney and Cumberbatch as the adulterous Harry Larkyns. Scheduling and all that fun stuff needs to be worked out, but the aim is to start shooting in early 2014 (which is also when Cumberbatch is due on the set of Guillermo Del Toro’s “Crimson Peak”).

But it’s exciting news that Oldman is getting back behind the camera, for a story that also inspired an opera by Philip Glass entitled “The Photographer.”

[Posted here by Stephen Herbert] see also:

https://ejmuybridge.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/michael-eklund-to-star-in-muybridge-movie/

auction: Author’s Edition of Animal Locomotion

quinns-2
Plate from Eadward Muybridge’s Animal Locomotion: An Electro-Photographic Investigation of Consecutive Phases of Animal Movements, 1872-1885, 11 vol. Author’s Edition folio. Est. $12,000-$15,000. Waverly Rare Books image.More Information: http://www.artdaily.org/index.asp?int_sec=11&int_new=63067#.UbBgsY6t76I[/url]
Copyright © artdaily.org
“Waverly Rare Books to auction Author’s Edition of Muybridge’s 1887 Animal Locomotion. FALLS CHURCH, VA.- On June 20th, Waverly Rare Books will auction an extraordinary photographic rarity – an Author’s Edition folio version of Eadweard Muybridge’s (British, 1830-1904) Animal Locomotion: An Electro-Photographic Investigation of Consecutive Phases of Animal Movements. Initially published in 1887 as an 11-volume set, Animal Locomotion contained a total of 781 plates.
Thirty-seven sets were produced and subsequently purchased by major art institutions, museums and libraries in New York, Boston and Philadelphia. The Public Edition of Animal Locomotion contained 100 plates and was issued by subscription for $100. “The subscriber would examine one of the complete sets in a public institution, then chose his or her favorites,” explained Waverly Rare Books’ director, Monika Schiavo. The Author’s Edition, which is the centerpiece of Waverly’s June 20 catalog auction, originally consisted of 21 plates selected by the author or editor from Muybridge’s complete series of animal locomotion plates. Of those 21 plates, one plate (Plate 465) is missing, leaving 20 plates. “Generally, a single lost plate can reduce a book’s value considerably, but in cases where the book is highly valuable, as is the case with this one, the loss in value is nowhere near as great, as buyers would have few – if any – alternatives,” said Schiavo. Citing auction comparables of the past, Schiavo noted that an Author’s Edition with 21 plates, personally inscribed by Muybridge, sold at Swann Galleries in March 2010 for $48,000.
A copy of a Public Edition with 54 collotype plates sold for $14,900 at Sotheby’s in November 2008. Its condition was a question mark but “likely to be very poor, given the catalog description that said ‘Fragment only – Disbound,’” Schiavo said. In 2007 an album with 100 plates in faux morocco wraps with some dampstaining, minor handling wear, chipping to edges, and library markings sold for $45,000 – triple its high estimate – at Skinner, while a collection of 50 plates sold at Bloomsbury’s in 2012 for 38,000 pounds (approx. $58,200). Other auction records indicate that some individual plates have sold for as much as $5,000.
Described by the Washington Post’s Frank Van Riper as “The Odd Genius Who Froze Motion,” Eadweard Muybridge was one of the most influential and eccentric photographers of all time. His instantly recognizable work merged the art and science of photography in a series of stop-action film sequences that paved the way for the modern motion picture industry. Muybridge’s prescient images have been collected and exhibited by the Tate Gallery, The Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Waverly Rare Books, a division of Quinn’s Auction Galleries, will offer the Eadweard Muybridge Author’s Edition of Animal Locomotion: An Electro-Photographic Investigation of Consecutive Phases of Animal Movements on June 20, with no reserve and a $12,000-$15,000 estimate. Waverly Rare Books’ June 20 auction will begin at 5 p.m. Eastern time. The preview begins on June 15 and continues through and including auction day (see website for hours). The gallery is closed on Sundays. All forms of bidding will be available, including absentee or live via the Internet through http://www.LiveAuctioneers.com. For information on any lot in the sale, call 703-532-5632 or e-mail monika.schiavo@quinnsauction.com.”
(Posted here by Stephen Herbert)

Little Triggers

Too late I’m afraid, as the last performance takes place as I type, but for the record there was a new Muybridge play in London this week.

This, edited from The [good] Review website:
The Good (Inte)review – Sean Rigby and Alex Vlahov
Posted by Kieran James on 13/08/2012
Soggy Arts Theatre Company was formed by final year students at LAMDA earlier this year, and over the next week they will be performing their debut piece Little Triggers (A Myth About Photography) at the Old Peanut Factory in Hackney. The play documents the adventures, inventions and rivalry of two spearheads of the motion picture industry. … To help provide a little more information about the play … we caught up with Writer/Director Alex Vlahov and one of the stars Sean Rigby to ask them a few questions.

 
Alright Boys?
ALEX: Fine thanks!
SEAN: Aye grand.
Tell us about Little Triggers.
ALEX: I guess it’s a historical black comedy. About two real photographers, Eadweard Muybridge and Etienne Jules-Marey, swashbucklers of early motion picture. They are dropped into a provincial English village in the 1880s for a Midsummer Festival competition.
Who do you play?
SEAN: I play Eadweard Muybridge. A renowned Photographer, inventor and showman who has arrived in the English countryside to claim the top prize in an invention competition.
ALEX: I’m the writer/director/coffee-boy.
How have rehearsals been going?
ALEX: It’s been an absolute pleasure. I’m constantly astounded by the cast’s commitment but I also laugh so much during rehearsal.
SEAN: Great. Alex has imbued the entire process with a sense of play and freedom. No one is precious with their work in the slightest.
How did this production get started?
ALEX: I took a history of film class at UCLA in 2009 and we learned about Marey and Muybridge before they screened the silent films. They were both pioneers in the new art form of motion-picture, but I was struck by Muybridge’s violently wild life, his murder in California, and I got to thinking about cinema’s bloody origins. There’s a culture of death and film, you only have to look at Sal Mineo or Natalie Wood or John Belushi. Following this idea after a couple of revisions, plus living in England for three years, I thought it might work better as a lie-fable. Is lie-fable a word?
SEAN: I said yes.
Has it helped being so familiar with the rest of the company?
ALEX: Oh yeah, there’s a shorthand there.
SEAN: Yes, but there are a few people in the cast whom I haven’t worked with before so that has been a real treat too.
How can people see the show and where can they find more information?
ALEX: There are about 30 seats per performance, plus standing ….  August 16th-18th, 7:30 PM (The Old Peanut Factory, 22 Smeed Rd., Hackney, E3 2NR).
Any plans for Soggy Arts following this?
SEAN: Hopefully producing more new writing. Having found such a unique and wonderful space in deepest darkest Hackney, Soggy Arts will continue to produce exciting new work all over London. I know they are releasing a short film at the start of Autumn, so watch this space.
ALEX: Rumour through the grapevine has it that Soggy Arts is dedicated to producing original work and providing a unique twist on overlooked texts. For specifics on the company, talk to Barney Mcelholm and Laurie Jamieson.
Will Do! Who is your favourite actor?
ALEX: Robert Mitchum. Tilda Swinton.
SEAN: Brendan Gleeson. Frances McDormand.
If you could have any part at any theatre what would it be and where?
ALEX: Edmund in a Wooster Group production of King Lear.
SEAN: I’d play Caliban at the Chorley Little Theatre.
The Good Review would like to thank Alex and Sean for their time, and wish them and the production all the very best. For more information about Little Triggers or to book tickets to see the show please click here.”

http://thegoodreview.co.uk/2012/08/the-good-intereview-sean-rigby-and-alex-vlahov/

Posted here by Stephen Herbert – with thanks to the [GOOD] review!

Muybridge, Michalek, Murphy: Olympic Celebration at Kingston

Olympic Celebration: Athletes in Motion

(c) Kingston Museum

The following is from This is Local London. A review and photos will follow.

http://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/9829004.100_year_old_photos_capture_athletes_in_motion/

‘Kingston exhibition features 100-year-old photos of athletes in motion
7:30am Wednesday 25th July 2012 in News
By Clare Buchanan

The exhibition will be at Kingston Museum from 28th July.

In the Olympic year Kingston Museum is exploring old and new techniques used to capture athletes in motion.
The exhibition will demonstrate the way artists and photographers have changed and evolved and how they depict the human body over time. The showcase includes work by Kingston-born, Victorian photographer Eadweard Muybridge, who bequeathed his personal collection to the borough in 1904 and paved the way for capturing the world in motion. He was a pioneer in trying to capture motion in sequence photography and the exhibition displays many of his 1887 experiments of humans and animals in motion. Much of his work was devoted to athletics and the male physical form, reflecting a new emphasis on physical fitness and ideals of masculinity in the 19th century.

In contrast, the display also includes contemporary artist David Michalek’s work, which captures athletes in motion in high definition. Coinciding with the 2012 Games the exhibition also focuses on 21st century techniques, including the use of sport biomechanics to measure and correct technique and injury rehabilitation. A video by Charlie Murphy, called the Kingston Big Wheel, will accompany the exhibition, courtesy of the Stanley Picker Gallery.

The video is inspired by Muybridge’s iconic motion sequence and features 300 gymnasts, dancers and athletes creating a chain of human cartwheels. The Kingston Big Wheel forms the final project for No Competition – a series of artist projects exploring the relationship between art and non-competitive sport.’

Olympic Celebration: Athletes in Motion, Kingston Museum, Wheatfield Way, Kingston. From July 28 to October 20. Admission free. Contains nudity. Phone 020 8547 6463 or visit kingston.gov.uk/museum

David Michalek is an artist who takes the concept and techniques of portraiture as the starting points for the creation of his works, on both a large and small-scale, in a range of mediums. While earning a B.A. in English Literature from U.C.L.A., Michalek worked as an assistant to noted photographer Herb Ritts. Beginning in the mid-1990s, he began his professional photographic career working as a portrait artist for publications such as The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Interview, and Vogue. Concurrently, Michalek began to delve into performance, installation, and multi-disciplinary projects. Since giving up commercial photography in 1998, his work has been shown nationally and internationally with recent public art and solo exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, the LA Music Center, Harvard University, Sadler’s Wells, Trafalgar Square, Opera Bastille, Venice Biennale, Yale University, The Kitchen, Lincoln Center and at the Edinburgh Festival at Summerhall with the Richard DeMarco Foundation. He has collaborated on the visual art component of two staged works with Peter Sellars: Kafka Fragments, presented as part of Carnegie Hall’s 2005-06 season; and St. François d’Assise, presented at the Salzburg Festival and Paris Opera. Other film and video work for theater includes collaborations with The Tallis Scholars; John Malpede and L.A.P.D., and with the Brooklyn Philharmonic in a project for The Brooklyn Museum’s “Music Off the Walls” series. He is a visiting faculty member at Yale Divinity School, where he lectures on religion and the arts. David Michalek lives in New York with his wife Wendy Whelan, principal dancer of New York City Ballet.

http://www.davidmichalek.net/about.php

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

Rats!

Phenakistiscope disc, pre-Muybridge

On the 8th December 1890 some residents of Gloucester received a more realistic experience of animals in motion than perhaps they were expecting, as the Gloucester Citizen reported the next day:

‘GLOUCESTER LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC ASSOCIATION. [last evening] … the Corn Exchange was crowded, the attraction being a lecture by Mr. Eadweard Muybridge on ‘The Science of Animal Locomotion in its Relation to Design in Art.’ … There followed a description of the lecture, and finally….

‘One other word. The corporation ought really to keep their rats in better order than to allow them to career about the Corn Exchange on public occasions. The appearance of these rodents (whom a long succession of corn markets seems to have rendered enterprising to a most impudent and unpleasant degree) upon the screen last night would have been appropriate, and they might have served a useful purpose as illustrations of Mr. Muybridge’s points; but their practical demonstrations on the floor of the laws of animal locomotion – whatever relation it may have borne to their design and art – not only proved somewhat terrifying to ladies in the audience, but distracted attention from the lecturer and his subject. In the zoopraxiscope they would have been tolerable, even amusing and instructive; dodging among chair and other legs they constituted a nuisance and a cause of legitimate complaint.’

Reports of several lectures previously unrecorded in the Muybridge biographies and my own chronology have recently turned up, including:
27 January 1890, Lecture at Grantham.

28 January 1890 report on lecture, Nottingham Evening Post. LECTURE AT GRANTHAM ‘Last night, in connection with local science and art lcasses, a lecture was given in the Theatre, Grantham… “The Movements of Animals.”  ‘…Mr. Muybridge’s reputation had preceded him, as evidenced by the large audience then present.’

23 July 1890 (Weds) Burnley Express ‘The Directors of the Burnley Mechanics’ Institute are making arrangements for the usual series of lectures … an address will be given by Mr. Muybridge….’

4 October 1890 (Sat) Burnley Express, Advert: ‘Lectures for the People’ (Assembly Room). List includes : ‘Thursday Dec. 4th “Animal Locomotion in its relation to design in Art,” Professor EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE. Illustrated synthetically with the Zoopraxiscope.’

6 October 1890 (Mon) Gloucester Citizen, Gloucester Literary and Scientific Association advert. ‘Engagements are pending with the following and other lecturers… MR. EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE – “The Science of Animal Locomotion,” illustrated by the zoopraxis-cope….’

23 October 1890 (Thurs) Gloucester Citizen, Gloucester Literary and Scientific Association advert. ‘The Committee have the pleasure to announce ….. Thursday, December 11th, MR. EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE – “The Science of Animal Locomotion,”…’

6 December 1890 (Sat) Burnley Express p.5 ‘HOW MEN AND WOMEN WALK. ARTISTIC FALLACIES EXPOSED. At the Burnley Mechanics’ Institutution, on Thursday evening, the last of the series of  “lectures for the people” was given by Professor Eadweard Muybridge, of the University of Pennyslvania, U.S.A., to a large gathering…’ (Dr. Brumwall presided.) ‘…the lecturer was an original investigator, who had used in one summer alone 50,000 photographic plates…’

More will no doubt come to light this year, as I search the millions of pages now being digitised and made available online by the British Library. (Free at St Pancras, otherwise paid access, for a very reasonable range of fees.)

Posted here by Stephen Herbert