21. jul, 2014

Weird Movie Corner: Dreams That Money Can Buy (1947)

I watch a lot of movies. In every possible genre, either art or commercial cinema. Some purists look down on commercial cinema because they feel it's dishonest and easy to make a movie for profit, but that doesn't mean that commercial filmmaking is less difficult than art-house filmmaking. A few years ago I started to look into the history of avant garde-experimental cinema. Well, that avant garde stuff is on a whole different level. These filmmakers broke all the conventional rules, but they also looked down on other fellow-filmmakers. They were 'artists' goddamm it, who made films for aesthetic reasons not commercial ones! One of the films that stood out for me was Dreams That Money Can Buy (1947), which was written, produced and directed by surrealist artist en Dada film-theorist Hans Richter. The film is basically Surrealism's Greatest Hits. Collaboraters included Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Alexander Calder, Darius Milhaud en Fernand Léger. The main character discovers he can see the contents of his mind unfolding whilst looking into his eyes in the mirror. He realises he can apply his 'gift' to others, and sets up his business in his room, selling tailor-made dreams to a variety of frustated and neurotic clients. The film unfolds in seven surreal dream sequences. The colours are beautiful, a great cast plus soundtrack with the likes of John Cage, and the segments are truly hypnotic. There is probably a logic to this film, but I have to see it again to fully understand it. Or maybe I shouldn't even try.