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Dreams that Money Can Buy (1947) by Hans Richter at Sweet 16
September 29, 2016 @ 8:30 pm - 9:50 pmFree
Note: Missing the first 10 mins. of the film
Screen in 16mm
Collaborators included Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Alexander Calder, Darius Milhaud and Fernand Léger. The film won the Award for the Best Original Contribution to the Progress of Cinematography at the 1947 Venice Film Festival.
Joe/Narcissus (Jack Bittner) is an ordinary man who has recently signed a complicated lease on a room. As he wonders how to pay the rent, he discovers that he can see the contents of his mind unfolding whilst looking into his eyes in the mirror. He realises that he can apply his gift to others (“If you can look inside yourself, you can look inside anyone!”), and sets up a business in his room, selling tailor-made dreams to a variety of frustrated and neurotic clients. Each of the seven surreal dream sequences in the diegesis is in fact the creation of a contemporary avant-garde and/or surrealist artist, as follows:
Desire Max Ernst (Director/Writer)
The Girl with the Prefabricated Heart Fernand Léger (Director/Writer)
Song Lyrics John Latouche Sung by Libby Holman and Josh White, accompanied by Norma Cazanjian and Doris Okerson
Ruth, Roses and Revolvers Man Ray (Director/Writer)
Music By Darius Milhaud
Discs Marcel Duchamp (Writer)
Music By John Cage
Circus Alexander Calder (Writer)
Music By David Diamond
Ballet Alexander Calder (Director/Writer)
Music By Paul Bowles
Narcissus Hans Richter (Director/Writer)
Music By Louis Applebaum Dialogue by Richard Holback and Hans Richter
Joe’s waiting room is full within minutes of his first day of operation, “the first installment on the 2 billion clients” according to the male narrator in voiceover, whose voice is the only one we hear in the non-dream sequences.