Oscilloscope Buys Nicholas Ray’s Last Film, “We Can’t Go Home Again”

Oscilloscope Buys Nicholas Ray's Last Film, "We Can't Go Home Again"

North American rights to Nicholas Ray’s final film, “We Can’t Go Home Again” have been picked up by Oscilloscope Laboratories ahead of the late director’s centenary of his birth. A restored/reconstructed version of the film will debut at the Venice Film Festival followed by the New York Film Festival in October.

Along with the film, Oscilloscope will release a new doc titled, “Don’t Expect Too Much,” Directed by Nicholas Ray’s widow, Susan Ray, it explores her late husband’s vision for “Home Again” in his own words and those of his students. Susan Ray also supervised the feature’s restoration. (For more about both titles, be sure to check out our interview with Susan Ray.)

After an extensive festival run in addition to screenings at repertory houses, universities, archives and other special engagements, Oscilloscope plans a DVD and multiple digital platform release in 2012. Both films will air on Turner Classic Movies in late October.

Full acquisition release follows:

Oscilloscope Laboratories announced today that it has acquired North American distribution rights to Nicholas Ray’s WE CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN, the director’s pioneering last film, for release in honor of the centenary of his birth. A pristine new restoration/reconstruction of the film will make its world premiere at the upcoming Venice International Film Festival, and its domestic debut at the New York Film Festival in October.

Accompanying the film, Oscilloscope will also release a new documentary, DON’T EXPECT TOO MUCH, which explores in his own words and those of his student crew Ray’s vision for WE CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN. Using never-beforeseen footage and audio from the Ray archive, as well as contemporary interviews, the fulllength documentary reveals Ray’s unique approach to directing and examines the relationship between his life and art in the latter years of his life. The documentary is directed by Ray’s wife, Susan Ray, who also supervised the restoration of WE CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN in collaboration with The Nicholas Ray Foundation, EYE Institute Netherlands, and The Academy Film Archive.

Oscilloscope will continue to screen both films at festivals, in repertory houses, at universities and archives, and in special engagements around the country; and will release them on DVD and multiple digital platforms next year. Both films are also scheduled to air on Turner Classic Movies in late October. Long shrouded in mystery and uncertainty, Ray’s final film is a groundbreaking work made with his students in the early 1970s at SUNY Binghamton in upstate New York. The film premiered as an unfinished work at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, and Ray continued to shoot and edit it until his death in 1979. In the film, we observe Ray undertaking the bold experiment of teaching collaboration and filmmaking to a novice crew while making a feature film. The film also aims to document the history, progress, manners, morals, and mores of everyday life at a critical moment in American history, through an expressionistic use of multiple image.

“Nicholas Ray is, quite simply, one of the greatest filmmakers in the history of cinema,” said Oscilloscope Laboratories in a statement. “In his last film, he shows the same trailblazing spirit, bold style, and interest in grappling with contemporary social concerns that have defined all of his previous work. We are thrilled and honored to be collaborating with Susan Ray and The Nicholas Ray Foundation to get this important and landmark film out into the world at last. We feel this film, along with Susan’s illuminating new documentary DON’T EXPECT TOO MUCH, will be a delight and a resource for cinephiles and film professionals for many years to come.”

Quote from Susan Ray: Nick has been called an innovator and pathfinder, a visionary a good 40 or 50 years ahead of his time. This is never truer than in We Can’t Go Home Again. Now, 40 years after it was shot, this is a film whose time has finally come. The Nicholas Ray Foundation is delighted to join forces with Oscilloscope in offering this film to a new generation of viewers ready to receive it.

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