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Dir. Man Ray
2023, France, 70 min

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.


Le Retour à la raison, Man Ray, 1923, France, 3 min

Emak-Bakia, Man Ray, 1926, France, 19 min

L’Étoile de mer, Man Ray, 1928, France, 27 min

Les Mystères du château de Dé, Man Ray, 1927, France, 27 min

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.

Generously sponsored by send + receive: a festival of sound.

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