Happy New Year to all movie lovers! We wish you all a 2013 full of amazing cinema. Speaking of amazing cinema, let’s start the New Year right with something very special.
You may know of the great American filmmaker Nicholas Ray — the director of such classics as Rebel with a Cause and the noir In a Lonely Place. That said, the chances are you haven’t heard of his final feature film; an experimental, collaborative, multi-screen work he made with college students after his exile from Hollywood. MUBI is currently showing this film throughout most of the world, as well as another wonderful film about the director.
Ray’s final film, We Can’t Go Home Again (1973), was uncompleted but has been beautifully restored and reconstructed. The second film is a new documentary by Susan Ray, the filmmaker’s widow. Don’t Expect Too Much is a companion piece to the wildly experimental, ahead-of-its-time 1973 feature.
We are showing these two features to celebrate Ray and bring attention to The Nicholas Ray Foundation’s Kickstarter project funding a new documentary on the filmmaker, ACTION! Master Class with Nicholas Ray.
ACTION! is the third and final part of the Foundation’s Nicholas Ray Centenary Project. This project began with the restoration and reconstruction of We Can’t Go Home Again, and was continued with Susan Ray’s Don’t Expect Too Much. Both films premiered at the Venice Film Festival and subsequently traveled to the New York Film Festival.
For more information and impressions on the Venice premiere, see David Hudson’s comprehensive roundup of commentary. David Phelps wrote a beautiful piece for MUBI about We Can’t Go Home Again from the NYFF. More recently, Bill Krohn wrote an incredible article on the film for Kino Slang.
I urge all lovers of film to dive into these wide ranging explorations of directing, both behind the scenes and in front of the camera, and to help support another vital insider’s look at one of cinema’s greatest popular artists.