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We Can’t Go Home Again (DVD Review)

14 Nov, 2012 By: Angelique Flores

$34.99 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray
Not rated.

We Can’t Go Home Again is one of Oscar-nominated director Nicholas Ray’s (Rebel Without A Cause, Johnny Guitar) last full-length films.

The experimental film caused controversy and criticism at the time, but could be arguably seen as ahead of its time with its use of multiple images on one screen and colorization.

The 1976 film was made with students and Ray at the helm. The result is like a car crash you can’t make sense of, but yet you still can’t turn away from. The film has no cohesive narrative, though some of the vignettes are fascinating to watch.

The full-length 2011 documentary Don’t Expect Too Much from Susan Ray, Nicholas’ wife, sheds light on the film as well as the intriguing man that Nicholas was. This in some ways is the centerpiece of the disc, helping viewers appreciate the effort, vision and groundbreaking filmmaking behind We Can’t Go Home Again. Several of those formers students who worked on the project talked about their hopes for it, the long hours, their inexperience and fighting over Ray’s time during the process.

This documentary also paints an interesting biographical portrait of the heavy drinking, unorthodox yet visionary filmmaker that Ray was and includes footage, photos and voiceovers of him to illustrate the points made by Susan, filmmaker Jim Jarmusch and those who worked on We Can’t Go Home Again.

The other special features on the set are extended interviews with Jarmusch and Ray biographer Bernard Eisenschitz; the featurette “Camera Three: Profile of Nicholas Ray” from 1977; dailies from Ray’s Marco (1977); interviews with Claudio Mazzatenta and Gerry Bamman about Marco; and “The Janitor,” Ray’s segment from the feature Wet Dreams (1974). There’s also a booklet with two essays about Ray and a piece about both We Can’t Go Home Again and Don’t Expect Too Much.

About the Author: Angelique Flores

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