Godard once wrote that Nicholas Ray reinvented the cinema by himself, and that compliment best suits this controversial work. In the early 1970s, Ray engaged in a joint project with the students from Harper College in New York, an adventurous work to push forward cinematic imagination. In this experimental film with a combination of theatrical movie and documentary, images start to show their own impromptu dance. Four or five segmented images are shown in the screen simultaneously, continuously overlapping with one another. The film even pours out the abstract colors and digital effects (controlling TV’s internal circuits) introduced in Paik Nam Jun’s video art works. The film’s story is as radical as its style, seeking to become a meta-film. The background is the distressed United States during the Vietnam War with active anti-war movements, and Ray in this movie appears as a former Hollywood filmmaker. This film is not only a political work to observe young people’s voices and direct responses, but also aeta-film about de-familiarizing the filmmaking process. Indeed, as Ray himself plays the role of a filmmaker, this film bears personal and connotative meanings. The title We Can’t Go Home Again is the same with that of Thomas Wolfe novel, which expressed the sense of loss, and hints grim nostalgia and discouraged utopia as shown in Ray’s The Lusty Men (1952). In Ray’s films, the actors filled with discontent wind up facing tragedy, which overlaps, by destiny, with the director’s portrait. Ray edited this ambitious work until the last days of his life.
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(54999)22, Jeonjugaeksa 3-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do, Republic of Korea