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Home arrow Etienne-Jules Marey

Etienne-Jules MAREY (1830-1904)


A 52’ documentary of creation
Written and realized by Anne BRAMARD BLAGNY and Josette UEBERSCHLAG

About a hundred years ago, thanks to his scientific and artistic work, Etienne-Jules MAREY contributed greatly to the birth of cinema…
The purpose of this original documentary is to capture the personality, the work and the trace of an exceptional man, doctor, engineer, artist, but also a visionary.
By his interest in the movements of horses, in skate swimming, in men walking, with the eddies of smoke, in Science, Music or Dance, Etienne-Jules Marey, starting from the study of movement, inferred a new perception of the world, and it is just to make this attribution. With a question. Where did he want to lead us?

A man of Burgundy, no doubt. But of Paris, also. Of Naples, especially.
Unaware of the similar work of MUYBRIDGE, in STANFORD, in the United States, then meeting him.
Rich in all these openings. Universal. Thus.

Passing through the Aquarium nestled in the Bay of Naples, place of research imagined by the German Anton Dohrn, allows a grasp of the character: free; far from petty fights; getting to the point, not lingering over the discoveries, which for him were only stages.
Thus, he searches, he finds much, and he continues ceaselessly …
In Naples, today, we do not forget him; on the octopuses, the skate and the starfishes, the experiments continue. As in Stanford.
Here, in France, at the veterinary school of Alfort, to walk, trot or gallop, the researchers are in the same wake. And studying the gait of the horse continues to be relevant, a springboard for reflection.
In Dijon, more than anywhere else, in the laboratories of the CNRS and the INSERM of the University of Burgundy, the method MAREY is the basis of much research on motor skills,  emotion, and music.
Because the piano is not very far from the photographic gun …
In 1892, alongside Etienne Jules MAREY, the composer and musicologist Maurice Emmanuel finds, quite naturally, his place. Their friendship, the work done together on "Greek Orchestique" led them to the heart of the Arts; Music, Dance, Painting, with a common sense of taste.
In 2011, in the multimedia pole ARS NUMERICA of Montbeliard, the same dimensions unite.
Also at SACLAY, in the "largest innovating territory of the world ",
In Marie GORSLINE's gallery, Norbert CORSINO's ballet, or Alexis GALPERINE's music lounge, we do not ignore this inheritance. We wonder about its richness.
Questions follow questions, always sharper, always more precise.
And with certainty; understanding what motivates us can also help us to live, to create, etc.…

Impression of his native land, Wealth of exile and encounters, Mystery of chords, dancing bodies, movements of humans, sea, air,  life of reflection, all dissolve  in a portrait enlightened by the music of Maurice Emmanuel.
So, the letters of both men are answering, unexpected pauses in the cascade of discoveries which follow one another. Every discovery is made, examined and explained; it carries in itself the premises of the next, along the same line of research, without a detour.
Between archive footage, and forays into the world of contemporary art, Etienne-Jules Marey can be discovered smoothly, as this immense richness, this mixture of curves, words and notes, it's him.


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