Dreams That Money Can Buy
by David Selden
Shot in colour on 16mm with the sound post-synchronized, Hans Richter’s extraordinary portmanteau film, Dreams That Money Can Buy is a real curate’s egg. Completed in 1947 for a budget of $25000 ($15000 of which had come from Peggy Guggenheim), the feature length film took three years to complete.
Conceived as a showcase for the work of Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, Alexander Calder, Fernand Léger, Man Ray and Richard Huelsenbeck, the film was described by Richter as “7 dreams shaped by 7 contemporary artists”. The soundtrack features original compositions by John Cage, Paul Bowles and Darius Milhaud tied together by weirdly brilliant syrupy jazz interludes by Louis Applebaum, who later complained that his involvement with the project as musical director had almost bankrupted him...