By Kim Knowles
The yankee artist guy Ray was once probably the most influential figures of the ancient avant-garde, contributing considerably to the improvement of either Dadaism and Surrealism. while his pioneering paintings in images guaranteed him overseas acclaim, his job in different parts, significantly movie, is to this present day either unknown and undervalued.
During the Twenties guy Ray made 4 brief experimental motion pictures and collaborated on a number of alternative initiatives with humans corresponding to Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Léger, René Clair and Hans Richter. those works, in addition to a chain of cinematic essays and residential video clips made throughout the Twenties and Thirties, signify an important contribution to the improvement of an alternate mode of filmmaking within the early 20th century. This e-book explores guy Ray’s cinematic interactions from the viewpoint of his interdisciplinary inventive sensibility, developing hyperlinks among movie, images, portray, poetry, track, structure, dance and sculpture. via exposing his preoccupation with shape, and his ambiguous dating with the politics and aesthetics of the Dada and Surrealist activities, the writer paints an intimate and complicated portrait of guy Ray the filmmaker.
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Extra info for A Cinematic Artist: The Films of Man Ray
In order to give kinetic life to the static image, wisps of smoke are blown in front of it. After being brief ly exposed to the ‘realism’ and familiarity of the camera-based images, the viewer is once again presented with a sequence of rayographs, involving a similar mixture of identifiable and unidentifiable objects, such as paper, springs and spiralling forms (see figure 5). This is followed by another short section, an arrangement of black lines resembling the layout of a poem moving frantically from side to side.
However, Ghali describes this development solely in terms of rejection and elimination – both, in ef fect, negative processes. So whilst his observation helps us to understand the way in which avant-garde film developed, bringing together the multitude of cinematic expression in terms of a single aim, it can also be counter-productive in the sense that it focuses attention primarily on the destructive, rather than constructive, qualities of this strand of filmmaking. This view has the ef fect of blurring some of the distinct concerns and approaches outlined above, which, although often related and existing together in a single film (as is the case with Ballet mécanique and Entr’acte’s simultaneous expression of Dada aesthetics and ‘pure cinema’ or ‘cinéplastics’), do not necessarily share the same theoretical basis.
This is because objects such as drawing pins, nails, grains of salt and pepper and bits of paper are not generally perceived in terms of their pictorial qualities and reproducibility. By employing the rayograph technique, Man Ray opens up the representative possibilities of film, whilst at the same time allowing the material to express hitherto hidden qualities. How else, he seems to ask, could we perceive, cinematically, the expressive possibilities of a drawing pin or the patterns created by salt and pepper?