Restored on the occasion of its 100th anniversary, Man Ray’s first foray into filmmaking, the wildly improvisational and unapologetically fragmentary Return to Reason, finds the artist exploding and reconstructing the cinematic medium as a vehicle for accessing the abstract essence of things by way of the rhythmic accumulation of visual details glimpsed in part, never in their wholeness. What emerges from this program—which combines Return to Reason with several other kindred and newly restored early films by Ray, set to haunting and hypnotic new music by SQÜRL (Jim Jarmusch and Carter Logan)—is the sense of Ray as perhaps the modern artist par excellence, an intrepid experimentalist absolutely committed to delving ever deeper into the space between consciousness and unconsciousness, sense and nonsense, wakefulness and dreaming.
The restoration process was led by Womanray and Cinenovo sourcing original prints from various parts of the world, in partnership with La Cinémathèque française, the Centre Pompidou, the Library of Congress, the French CNC and Cineteca di Bologna.
Man Ray (born as Emmanuel Radnitzky, 1890-1976) was an American visual artist who spent most of his career in Paris. He significantly contributed to the Dada and Surrealist movements, although his ties to each were informal. He produced major works in various media but considered himself a painter above all. He was best known for pioneering photography and was a renowned fashion and portrait photographer. Man Ray directed a number of influential avant-garde short films, known as Cinéma Pur.
1923 Powrót do rozumu / Return to Reason (short)
1926 Emak-Bakia (short)
1927 Tajemnice Zamku Kostki do gry / Les Mystères du château de Dé (shot)
1928 Rozgwiazda / L’Étoile de mer (short)