Friday, 4 February 2011

Man Ray: The Return to Reason

Man Ray’s ironically Le Retour à la raison (‘Return to Reason’) is one of a few films made by a Dadaist. The other film-makers associated with the movement include Hans Richter and Rene Clair. Man Ray’s film was shown as part of the ‘Soiree du couer de à barbe’ which marked the demise of the movement in Paris in 1923.
Man Ray applied his rayogram to cinematography. I did not place Man Ray with the other abstract filmmakers featured in the blog because the quality is not related to painterly forms (Ruttmen, Richter, Fishinger) but a direct physical action on to the film and a process that relates to material nature of film. The abstract quality relates to the films “mechanics, materials, chemistry and techniques of cinematography” (Le Grice, 1977, p.34). The emphasis therefore is upon the physicality of the medium.

Le Grice, M., Abstract Film and Beyond, Cambridge, Mass, London, UK: MIT Press

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