In the second half of the 19th century, Eadweard Muybridge, the father of motion pictures, embarks on an obsessive project to record on film "the motion of life" in all of its abundance. His epic quest is eclipsed only by the depth of his jealousy over his beautiful, young wife Flora. As the project progresses, his paranoia over her fidelity consumes him, until questions arise about his son’s paternity, causing him to erupt.
Thom Andersen's remarkable and sadly neglected hour-long documentary adroitly combines biography, history, film theory, and philosophical reflection. Muybridge's photographic studies of animal locomotion in the 1870s were a major forerunner of movies; even more interesting are his subsequent studies of diverse people, photographed against neutral backgrounds.
David Hanson edits together 11 separate photo series done between 1877 and 1885 by Eadweard Muybridge to make 11 short films.