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Wed-Thu, June 5-6


  • Dir. Man Ray
  • France
  • 1923-1929
  • 70 min.
  • NR
  • 4K DCP Restorations

Musical score by Sqürl

  • Assistive Listening
  • Hearing Loop

Part of Music City Mondays (rescheduled from Mon, May 27)

The four films Man Ray directed between 1923 and 1929 — Le Retour À La Raison, Emak-Bakia, L’étoile De Mer And Les Mystères Du Château Du Dé — represent a high watermark of early European avant-garde cinema, a seminal nexus of experimental technique, surrealist narrative, and playful abstraction as suffused with dark eroticism. In these films, Ray began discovering the limitless possibilities of montage as well as the direct application onto celluloid of objects such as salt, pepper, pins and thumbtacks. Juxtaposing undulating geometric patterns, a twirling fairground ride, and a female nude, among other striking images, Ray finds subconscious correspondences among seemingly incongruous materials and figures.

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Le Retour À La Raison, the Jim Jarmusch-Carter Logan combo Sqürl present MAN RAY: RETURN TO REASON, with a newly-recorded drone rock soundtrack for that title as well as the three other Ray films. The band’s cosmic sounds complement Ray’s work by conjuring the beautiful, ineffable, haunting and sublime.

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.

“I hope Man Ray would like it. We bring that sort of psilocybin element to the films. What’s really fun is that occasionally Carter will be playing electronic drones and I’ll be playing guitar feedback or electronics, and there will be times when we don’t know who’s playing what. And that’s when Carter and I say it’s like ecstatic music, because even we don’t know what’s happening.” —Jim Jarmusch discusses the score for RETURN TO REASON in Deadline

“Exhibits the pioneering artist’s deep understanding of light and its unique interactions with film… He brilliantly explored the textural elements of the medium.” —Swapnil Dhruv Bose, Far Out Magazine