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Return to Reason (1923)
"Le retour à la raison" (original title)

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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 846 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 6 critic

Experimental film, white specks and shapes gyrating over a black background, a light-striped torso, a gyrating eggcrate. One of the first Dadaist films.


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Title: Return to Reason (1923)

Return to Reason (1923) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Credited cast:
Kiki of Montparnasse ...
Nude torso


Experimental film, white specks and shapes gyrating over a black background, a light-striped torso, a gyrating eggcrate. One of the first Dadaist films. Written by Bruce Cameron <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

20 November 1999 (Greece)  »

Also Known As:

Return to Reason  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When the movie - a very short, soundless abstract piece - was first exhibited, a man in the audience stood up and complained it was giving him a headache. Another man told him to shut up, and they both started to fight. They left the theater fighting and the police were called in to stop the fight. See more »


Featured in Emak-Bakia (1927) See more »

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User Reviews

18 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This little short absolutely fascinates me.

The only thing I've seen thus far like it is some of the work by Sam Brakhage, the creator of Dog Star Man. However, where Brakhage is trying to unnerve by "making us learn how to see again" and provide us with an affront of head-ache inducing bright colors and flashes (which I still totally dig and embrace as high art...), this film I would characterize as very relaxing and hypnotizing. Man Ray's general use of spinning objects/camera does not create so much of a dizzy feeling but a warm flow of senses, intermingling and going along with the gravity of the moving world around us.

An interesting conceit of this very short work is that as it goes along, objects become more and more recognizable until we end on a nude torso (of which I feel is the least feminine well-rounded breasts I've ever seen). The circles and spirals of shadow and light over the torso make it an object of surrealistic beauty, something that you could hang on your wall and delve over forever. It's because of this and other images in this film that I had to watch it again and again (eventually a total seven times) just because it utterly fascinates me.


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