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The Marey Project

Cast: Helen HOPKINS, Ian Scott, Kevin Hopkins,
Rob Meldrum, Meg White, John Francis Howard,
Luke Ryan, Olivia Griffith & Estella Pintos-Lopez, James Clayden.

Local artist James Clayden has long been known for his painting and theatre work, but in recent years his innovative experiments with film and video have come to the fore. The Marey Project (referring to the pioneering cinema inventor Etienne-Jules Marey) mixes Clayden's penchant for abstraction with strong narrative elements: a series of kinky sex murders, and the making of a film. It is a powerful, remarkable and mysterious piece, among the peaks of recent Australian cinema.

Adrian Martin, The Age

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Melbourne International Film Festival program note

The Marey Project is the third video artwork by renowned Melbourne artist James Clayden to feature in MIFF over recent years. Clayden's HAMLET X (MIFF 04) and The Ghost Paintings (MIFF 03) have just screened internationally, including at Rotterdam and Buenos Aries film festivals. The Marey Project is a challenging new work inspired by the photographic and chronophotographic experiments of 19th-century French physiologist E. J. Marey that takes its audience to the edge of the abyss.

"Out of his attempts to render visible forces that are not themselves visible, 'a world arose that could not be grasped by looking. He simplified, halted and emerged; things were made uniform and blurred. The tumultuous, abrupt and multiple would be unleashed on all sides by his instruments': capturing forces as their universe trembled in the throes of love." - James Clayden

Digi Beta/col/2005/87mins

Senses of Cinema review

Bill Mousoulis

The Marey Project is the latest film from veteran avant-gardist James Clayden, and he is in magnificent form. Far from the severe fragmentation of his previous feature, HAMLET X (2003), The Marey Project, whilst still a huge puzzle to work out, is sensual and pleasurable, in its exploration of sex, power, murder, cinema. Instead of HAMLET X's abrupt cuts and extreme dramatics, this film has beautiful dissolves and intriguing whispers. It's an eerie work, reminiscent of La Jetee (Chris Marker, 1962), in its clash of science with humanity.

AFC festivals catalogue, 2006

A mysterious mix of loss and longing that investigates a man's imaginings, taking him to the edge of the abyss before he discovers what it is he needs most.

Experimenting with a host of strange phenomena including phantoms from his past and present, Walter Hey (Ian Scott) confronts a power that could hold the key to his deepest dreams ... or darkest nightmares.


LINK - The Marey Project, A Work in Progress
on Rouge online magazine

Produced with the assistance of the Australian Film Commission