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Man Ray
Prophet of the Avant-Garde
(1997)

 

An interesting note: Man Ray was pushed into filmmaking by dadist Tristan Tzara, who published a programme for an event listing a film, which would be shown at the event, by Man Ray. There was no film and Man Ray didn’t even know of the schedule until the day before the event. Tzara had even given the film a title already. Adapting one of his photographic printmaking techniques, Man Ray made the film which was shown at the event the following evening. The film was Le retour à la raison (1923). — Carl Bennett

coverFox Lorber
2000 DVD edition

Man Ray: Prophet of the Avant-Garde (1997), color and black & white, 60 minutes, not rated.

Fox Lorber, WHE73041DVD, UPC 7-20917-30412-0.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD disc, Region 1, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, $24.98.
Release date: 22 February 2000.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 9 / audio: 8 / additional content: 5 / overall: 7.
Prerelease information on this title stated that the documentary is 60 minutes long, produced by the PBS television American Masters series, and that there would be “extra Man Ray short films.” We couldn’t find any. There are brief clips from Le retour à la raison (1923), Emak-Bakia (1926) and Les mystères du Château du Dé (1929). The majority of the documentary is more balanced across all of Man Ray’s excursions into various media. More prominent are Man Ray’s paintings and photography. After all, the Brooklyn-born artist was and remains known for his wonderful photographic portraits of Marcel Proust, Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, Igor Stavinsky, Sinclair Lewis, James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and more.

The disc includes an essay by Neil Baldwin.

 
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Other silent era-related DOCUMENTARIES available on home video.
 
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