We Can't Go Home Again (1973)

TV-MA   |    |  Drama

We Can't Go Home Again (1973) Poster

The most complete, newly restored version of Nicholas Ray's experimental masterpiece embodies the director's practice of film-making as a "communal way of life." Ray plays himself in the ... See full summary »




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28 December 2011 | st-shot
| Nick and the Rayettes 1.0
After crashing and burning with a couple of Hollywood epics director Nicholas Ray was in desperate need for work and from the looks of things a way to cover his bar tab when he took on a professorship in an upstate New York University and along with his students made this ambitious work of near total incoherency.

The film's form is a series of multiple disparate projections linked only by the fact they are sharing the same screen though I believe there are some attempts to sum up the chaotic times with a visual onslaught of youthful angst and insecurity goaded on by a dissipated over the hill film maker of Rebel Without a Cause. There's riot footage, frontal nudity by a student who refuses to put her pants on and someone taking David Crosby's advice in an overwrought mawkish scene shaving his beard. There is also the patch eyed visage of Ray in various states of consciousness trying to figure out a way to hang himself; "I made a dozen westerns and I can't tie a decent noose".

I was a film studies major around this time at another college and we more or less were doing the same experimentation (I recall writing on film stock) but with less hallowed Profs the likes of Ray (though we did have an instructor that resembled Lee Remick) . Our youthful exuberance matched his students but I can only imagine how buoyed they must have been under the guidance of a Hollywood legend, especially with the cool demeanor of a Ray. So bad as the finished product of We Can't Go Home Again is something tells me the journey for these kids made it more than worth the trip.

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