The Return to Reason (1923, Man Ray)

The Return to Reason doesn’t so much study movement as exhibit experiments in movement. Whether they’re photographic tricks or recognizable objects–or unrecognizable ones until you watch carefully–director Ray isn’t putting them together to solve a puzzle.

Unless, of course, the titular Reason is the nude woman at the end and then Ray would just be painfully witty.

Still, Reason only runs about two minutes and Ray can’t top the ferris wheel shot thirty seconds into it. Only the lights of the ferris wheel are in focus and they loop endlessly through the darkness. It’s an exceptionally stunning sequence and, watching it, I wondered if or how he could top it for the finish.

The nude woman doesn’t do it. I really hope he wasn’t trying to top it with her.

Reason provides a decent viewing, has those fantastic lights, but it’s not deep. Ray keeps it intentionally shallow.

1/3Not Recommended


Edited, produced and directed by Man Ray.


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