The Marey Project
Human Perception of Space and Time
To make an investigation into the original photographic and chronophotographic experiments carried out by the French physiologist E.J. Marey (1830 - 1904).
|Film:||a fiction on the invention of cinema|
|the birth and re-birth|
|Forces:||gravity and light|
|the human nervous system - feeding on light|
|discord and harmony|
|Faith:||to come not from the self but from what remains|
|just before darkness swallows all|
Exorcism of a Bad Dream
To be against art.
|Note one:||Rotterdam/Venice/Buenos Aires 2004|
|bridge lamp titian basin|
|drunk pink-rabbit-girl christ|
|pornography lamp shit goose|
|Note two:||Japan/London/Ireland 2004|
|time and weight|
|the vibrating eye|
|water and light|
|blur and coarse graining|
|Note three:||Paris/London/Prague 1999|
from An Unidentified Woman (1884)
Scene 10: Night. Interior. Large Bedroom of Estate.
The rich sound of a child’s heart-beat is joined by a distant wind growing nearer - as Ciceley’s face appears out of the shifting dark - deathly pale, her eyes wide open, unblinking. Her long black hair on the white linen of the pillow, where she lies in a pale nightgown. Stillness, as the child’s heart beats.
Moving back in the room, away from the bed - Walter is standing at the window that holds the storming sky of night outside. With his back to us, and where his wife lies. The sound of the storm draws nearer, accompanying the beating heart.
The mid-wife, Anna stands at Ciceley’s bedside, the newborn child in her arms. The Doctor standing beside her, reaches to close Ciceley’s eyes. Walter is suddenly at his side, grabs the Doctor’s hand away before he touches Ciceley, and flings him aside, demanding that he leave.
The heartbeat has stopped, sucking the sound of the storm into its own decay. Only a high pitched distant howling can be heard. Anna moves closer to Walter, the child in her arms, prevailing on him to collect himself and hold his newborn daughter.
Unable to look at the child, he ushers them out, locking the door after them. He sees his own reflection in the silvered mirror on the door. He turns from his possessed reflection to go to Ciceley.
Ciceley looks like a bird that’s fallen, broken on the bed. The threat of the pending storm accompanies his movements to her side. The rumblings fade as the features of Ciceley’s face fill the screen.
A high-pitched animal-like sound comes from out of the dark. Water drips from above onto Ciceley’s cheek. Widening our view, slowly we look up to see water running from the ceiling above the bed. Unnatural sounds have grown out of the animal-like squeal. The ceiling collapses, flooding water - falling very slowly, as we look past its falling to see Ciceley is gone - and where she lay, now writhes the blackest liquid, shrinking, seemingly to swim in on itself - sucking, sound and us into its writhing mass. A vortex-like abyss.
Darkness and silence.
Then: Dark clouds swirl in the night sky. The animal-like scream rings out in the distance before silence swallows all.
Scene 23: Night. Interior. Sideshow Theatre.
Several years later. Walter creating his moving images in the dark. Human forms becoming terrifying creatures (as in Scene Thirteen - in his mind): Inanimate objects breathe, becoming tortured and fallen forms, not quite animal, not quite human. The mother breastfeeding her child reappears for a moment, the child is sucked into the breast from which it feeds. The woman smiles beguilingly, then opens her own belly with her bare hands, bloodless, many fish slither out of her alive. Her dark wings flap, spreading out to cast a huge shadow over the audience, who sit spellbound, aghast at what they see.
Darkness takes the theatre. A child’s scream rings out.
Close-up of Walter’s face caught in
concentration, as the child’s scream subsides into the darkness that surrounds
him. Out of which a voice calls out his name, beckons him in an eerie
whisper. Walter’s look of concentration becomes distant, lost.
By himself in bedroom. Goes to bed, looking at the wind blowing the frail curtains. He closes his eyes. There is a sound, a shifting in the wind? He opens his eyes to see a female figure standing at the window, bending to look out. She turns in the dim light telling him "Don’t fret... I’ll tell you what happened... things aren’t as they seem... humans have been living in optic fault... for a long time..."
Chapter 2: The Man
Who Lost His Head/
HER ON HER BACK ON THE FLOOR, CENTRE; WRITHING SLOWLY, STRAINING IN PLEASURE/PAIN – CAUGHT UP IN HERSELF. HE APPROACHES SLOWLY, APPREHENSIVELY FROM THE SIDE. HE KNEELS TO ONE SIDE OF HER, CAREFULLY BEGINS TO MASSAGE HER BARE LEG CLOSEST TO HIM. HER WRITHING GROWS MORE INTENSE.
HE PAUSES, CRAWLS ROUND HER STILL WRITHING FIGURE TO MASSAGE HER OTHER LEG. HER WRITHING BECOMES SLOWER, BUT MORE INTENSE, STRAINING.
HE MASSAGES HER LEG IN A DIFFERENT MANNER.
HE GOES BACK TO THE FIRST WAY OF MASSAGE.
SHE OPENS HER EYES.
HE STARTS SLOWLY FACING
SHE RISES WATCHING HIM INTENTLY, MOVES AS IF POSSESSED; UTTERS HARSH STRAINING THINGS TO HIM AS HE SPEAKS, SHE MOVES TO AND FROM HIM; HISSING AT HIM TOO.
HE SHIFTS TO INTIMATE/SERIOUS
SHE BECOMING SOFTER IN HER DELIVERY MORE AT HIM NOW. TO SEDUCE?
SHE SHIFTS INTO MORE CONFIDING ROLE AS IF WARNING HIM; MOVES ABOUT HIM WITH HARSH WARNING-LIKE WHISPERS TO THE AIR ABOUT HIS HEAD.
PAUSE. HE SUDDENLY BREAKS AWAY FROM HER TO REPORT TO FRONT.
SHE JOINS HIM IN HIS REPORT TO FRONT
THEY OBSERVE EACH OTHER, CIRCLING SLOWLY. HE REELS OFF. TOWARDS US. PROJECTED IMAGERY OF ‘THE MAN WHO LOST HIS HEAD’.
PROJECTED IMAGERY SHIFTS
TO PRAGUE FROM
He is shaving in a small mirror (with his back to us). Her hand appears, caressing the back of his neck and head from out of nowhere (the mirror). He pauses shaving, his breath, her voice close, intimate "Sssh, it’s alright... God does not see things the same way as man, remember?" Her hand withdraws. Pause. He drops the razor, rests with both hands against the wall, his head bent against the mirror. Her voice again "I’ll be there for you... sssh..." His breathing.
HE TURNS THE PROJECTOR OFF. SHE TURNS THE LIGHT ON. HE CROUCHES AT BACK WALL.
SHE LIFTS HER SKIRT AS HE GOES UNDER FROM BEHIND.
HE APPEARS FROM UNDER HER SKIRT.
SHE BACKS HIM INTO A CORNER.
HE COWERS BACK ON ALL FOURS.
SHE TURNS FROM HIM.
HE RUSHES TO THE FAR CORNER, PUTS HAT ON HEAD, A LARGE WHITE HANDKERCHIEF TO COVER HIS FACE AND ENTERS WITH ONE HAND OUT TO FEEL HIS WAY/TO WARD OFF BLOWS/PHOTOGRAPHS.
SHE TAKES SEVERAL FLASH PHOTOGRAPHS AS HE CRAWLS TO PICK UP THE PENCILS. AS HE PICKS UP THE LAST PENCIL SHE GENTLY STOPS HIM, CALMS HIM AND SUDDENLY PULLS A HANDKERCHIEF FROM HIS FACE, DRAGS THE TABLE INTO PLACE AND PUSHES HIM TO KNEEL (AS HE STUFFS THE PENCILS INTO HIS JACKET POCKET), HEAD DOWN ON THE TABLE. TAKES HAT FROM HIM.
WHACKS THE TABLE WITH THE NEWSPAPER (THAT’S ON THE TABLE) HOLDING HIS HEAD FIRMLY DOWN, CHEEK TO TABLE. HE RESISTS.
SHE MOVES AWAY FROM THE TABLE, SMOOTHING HIS HAT SPEAKING TO AUDIENCE.
HE STANDS FEELS THE TABLE WHERE HIS HEAD HAS BEEN PRESSED DOWN. SHE BACKS UPSTAGE. SHE LEANS BACK INTO HIM. HE GRABS HER AND FORCES HER HEAD DOWN IN THE SAME PLACE AS HIS WAS, SPREADS HER FEET APART, LIFTS HER DRESS FROM BEHIND AND COVERS HIMSELF WITH IT. SUDDENLY HE DROPS THE SKIRT AND LETS GO OF HER.
SHE TURNS TO HIM AND PUSHES HIM AGAINST THE WALL. SHE LETS THE RULER SWING ON THE WALL.
SHE CROSSES STAGE TO THE TWO LONG RULERS WRAPPED IN ‘FRAGILE’ TAPE HANGING ON THE WALL. THREATENINGLY TOUCHES ONE AFTER THE OTHER WATCHING HIM.
THREATENINGLY, SHE GOES AS IF TO REMOVE THEM.
SHE WAITS, VIA A CORD LOWERS THE SIMPLE CHAIR DOWN THE WALL INTO PLACE.
HE MOVES UP CLOSE BEHIND HER. PAUSES. SLIPS HIS RIGHT HAND OVER HER RIGHT SHOULDER, SLIPPING HIS HAND DOWN HER DRESS TO FEEL HER LEFT BREAST. SHE BREATHES DEEPLY. SILENCE. HE WITHDRAWS HIS HAND AND TAKES IN AIR, QUICKLY PUSHES HIS HAND INTO THE BLACK COVERED BOX. SHE PUTS A CUP INTO HIS HAND (AS IT APPEARS AT THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BOX) POURS WATER FROM THE BOTTLE INTO THE CUP UNTIL IT OVERFLOWS. SHE TAKES CUP AND TIPS IT UPSIDE DOWN ON THE TABLE, THEN DRAGS TABLE AWAY. HE SMOOTHLY WITHDRAWS HIS HAND FROM THE BOX.
HE HAS WITHDRAWN, COWERING BEHIND THE LARGE BLACK TABLE.
THE LARGE BLACK TABLE MOVES TOWARDS HER. SHE BACKS TO OTHER TABLE. TABLE STOPS. SHE PUTS NEWSPAPER ON THE FLOOR WITH A PAIR OF MEN’S SHOES ON TOP. SHE PUTS THE HAT NEXT TO THEM. HE CRAWLS OUT FROM TABLE AND RESTS HIS HEAD ON THE SHOES AND ONE HAND ON THE HAT. SHE SMOOTHS THE TABLE. SHE MOVES THE LIGHT GLOBE INTO PLACE AND PUTS HIM INTO THE CHAIR WITH AN ATTITUDE OF UNAVOIDANCE. SHE GETS HOOD AND BOARD FROM TABLE. WITH HER BACK TO THE AUDIENCE AND HIDING HIM SHE PLACES A BLACK HOOD OVER HIS HEAD AND THE BOARD ON HIS LAP. SHE GOES AND TURNS PROJECTION ON. SHE STARTS VIDEO TAPE. HE SMASHES THE GLOBE WITH THE BOARD.
of her, pregnant, writhing on the floor.
He is putting a young child to bed (telling a story) in a room with two single beds. As he leaves the room, he hears a strange sound behind him, he re-enters to see something moving under the covers of the other bed.
Her voice: The prophecy recreated from the Bible is sung by a slave, is upon us: "God gave Noah the rainbow sign. No more water, the fire next time."
© James Clayden and Rouge 2004. Cannot be reprinted without permission of the author and editors of Rouge.