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”Exposing Muybridge” with Marc Shaffer

May 9, 2022

“He's not a dusty antique from the past; he's the beginning of now”  That’s how Marc Shaffer describes the subject of his film, Exposing Muybridge.  Mike and Marc explore the strange and varied career of Eadweard Muybridge (just one of the many versions of the name he gave himself over the years).  Born in Britain, he moved to New York to sell books, and then to San Francisco to become an early photographer of the American West as well as its native inhabitants.  He then had the fortune (both good and mis-) to garner Leland Stanford, rail tycoon and Californian politician, as a patron.  He started with photographs of Stanford’s family, but then moved on to the series of pictures that would make him a known worldwide:  Proving the long-argued notion that at some point in full gallop, all 4 of a horse's hooves leave the ground. 

Disavowed by Leland Stanford just as he was about to be honored by the Royal Society of his home country, Muybridge returned to America and supported by the likes of painter Thomas Eakins, took up residency at The University of Pennsylvania.  Here he continued his motion studies, but as Shaffer and his experts demonstrate, in a manner that revealed as much about the mores and prejudices of his day as they do about the nature of motion.

Aided by the exemplary explanatory mode of none other than Muybridge fan and collector Gary Oldman, Schaffer reveals much about Muybridge’s life, technique, and art.  And he demonstrates the impact on our culture from Francis Bacon, to The Matrix, to Jordan Peele.

“Exposing Muybridge” screenings at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival

  • Monday, May 9 | 4:40 PM | The Main
  • Tuesday, May 10 | 1:45 PM | The Main
  • Friday, May 13 | 1:50 PM | The Main

For more information about the Festival, go to:


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