Friday, January 20, 2012

More Nicholas Ray

Posted By on 01.20.12 at 02:00 PM

In a Lonely Place (1950)
  • In a Lonely Place (1950)
In this week's long review I look at Susan Ray's new documentary Don't Expect Too Much, which focuses on the last years of her husband, director Nicholas Ray. The movie screens at 7 PM tonight at Block Museum of Art, along with a restoration of Ray's unfinished final feature, We Can't Go Home Again. But this isn't the first documentary to look at Ray's two-year stint as a film professor at State University of New York at Binghamton in the early 70s. I'm a Stranger Here Myself (1975), which you can view in its entirety at YouTube, includes more footage of Ray at work in Binghamton, extensive interviews with the director (as well as John Houseman, Natalie Wood, and Francois Truffaut), and a survey of his career supported by lengthy clips from They Live by Night (1947), In a Lonely Place (1950), Johnny Guitar (1953), and Rebel Without a Cause (1955). (Myron Meisel, who produced, narrates, and interviews Ray, also turns up in Don't Expect Too Much.) And while we're at it, here's Jonathan Rosenbaum's original Reader capsule for We Can't Go Home Again, which references the early version of the film shown at the Cannes festival in 1973. Because the movie is an experimental composite of multiple frames, I'm guessing that Jonathan's review refers to a substantially different film than the one that screens tonight at Block.

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