FOUR FILMS BY MAN RAY
ORIGINAL MUSIC BY SQÜRL
IndieWire by Ryan Lattanzio May 23, 2023
Jim Jarmusch hopes his latest project — a soundtrack composed with his SQÜRL bandmate Carter Logan for a new restoration of Man Ray silent films — induces in viewers a “psilocybin-inspired” experience.
The “Only Lovers Left Alive” and “Stranger Than Paradise” filmmaker and musician, along with Logan, spoke exclusively with IndieWire about the screening of four early-1900s black-and-white shorts from Dadaist pioneer Man Ray hitting Cannes Classics tonight: “Return to Reason,” “Emak-Bakia,” “The Starfish,” and “The Mysteries of the Chateau of Dice.” Together, Jarmusch and Logan improvised an original score, a tripped-out sonic soup of distorted guitars and loopy feedback, now recorded to accompany the films. The quartet of shorts holds up a distorted mirror to human sexuality as Jarmusch and Logan’s eerie music envelops the Freudian dreamscape — and while you might be tempted to drop a tab of acid or mushroom cap or two for the viewing, Jarmusch says that’s not necessary, as the fusion of sound and images here are trying to create that same effect. “Surrealism was about the altering of senses, of perception, and psychedelic music and the use of psychedelic drugs, there’s a place where they intersect,” Jarmusch told IndieWire.
“We’re not on mushrooms or using psychedelics to create the music, but there’s something of it that’s important to us of where those two things connect in having an altered perception, rather than one that’s force-fed to you. Man Ray and the Dadaists were very interested in altering those perceptions.”