Dada Brunch: Dreams That Money Can Buy
Run Time: 114 min. Format: Digital Rating: NR
Release Year: 1923
Starring: Alexander Calder, Fernand Léger, John Cage, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst
Nitehawk’s LIVE SOUND CINEMA presents DADA BRUNCH: DREAMS THAT MONEY CAN BUY and short films featuring a live score by PARLOR WALLS!
Artist Hans Richter, a pioneer in cinematic exploration, was an important Dadaist figure in the early 20th Century. His feature film, Dreams that Money Can Buy, involves contributions by a “who’s who” of important artists of this time period: Man Ray, John Cage, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Fernand Léger, and Alexander Calder.
Made shortly after the end of the Second World War, at a time when the compulsive madness of the Dadaist and surrealist movements had been overtaken by even more darkly irrational events, the film reflects an unease amongst contemporary artists about their role in the world and their relation to the dominant art form of the time, popular cinema. Richter’s main narrative concerns a down-on-his-luck artist named Joe who discovers that he has the ability to show individuals their innermost dreams, and sets about trying to turn his talent into a profitable business (somewhere between entertainment and therapy) so that he can win back his ‘dream girl’. The rhyming voice-over and film noir stylings become rather twee (even if they are designed to parody as much as exploit the conventions of mainstream cinema), but all this is merely the framing device for the film’s real raison d’être: seven surreal sequences conceived and directed by prominent members of the avant garde as an aesthetic alternative to Hollywood’s dream machine. – Anton Bitel, Film 4 Review
Screening before Dreams that Money Can Buy will be the short films Ghosts Before Breakfast (Hans Richter, 1927) and Symphonie Diagonale (Viking Eggleing, 1924).
Providing the live score to Dada Brunch: Dreams that Money Can Buy is Parlor Walls, an experimental duo formed by singer/guitarist Alyse Lamb (EULA) and drummer/keyboardist Chris Mulligan.