O U T S I D E L E F T   stay i n d e p e n d e n t

South Bank Surrealism 1947 meets 2005

get the weekly Outsideleft newsletter
by Lake, Editor, London for outsideleft.com
originally published: May, 2005
Imagine Gainsbourg at the end of Blackpool pier. Noel Coward in a Chanel dress

There's the circus made of wire figures. There's the barker, the strongman, the dancer, the knife thrower with the wayward aim. Then the shop window dummies and their difficult love. Max Ernst hamming it up like a fancy dress party Dracula. Marcel Duchamp's hypnotic discs. And then our hero, Joe, the psychiatrist, the dreamcatcher, who turns blue and goes off chasing after rope up ladders.

Hans Richter's 1947 film "Dreams That Money Can Buy" is a surrealist classic. As chaotic and confounding as you would expect when the story strands are woven by Man Ray, Fernand Leger, Alexander Calder and the aforementioned Duchamp. Originally soundtracked by John Cage, Paul Bowles and others it is now the latest in a series of thrilling live movie events by Marek Pytel's Reality Films. Previously Pere Ubu have tackled It Came From Outer Space and Acid Mothers Temple have eclipsed the manga-nasty Legend of the Overfiend. Forthcoming is a Billy Childish take on the Patrick McGoohan gritty Brit noir Hell Drivers. New soundtracks to old movies performed live in front of the screen.

There could be few better suited to take on Richter's Dreams than London's The Real Tuesday Weld. The alias of Stephen Coates, solo artist turned band leader, who has mesmerized listeners with bedsit tales of romance and reverie, dreams and despair since the Valentine EP of 2001. Classically British but with a continental twist. Imagine Gainsbourg at the end of Blackpool pier. Noel Coward in a Chanel dress.

Their antique beats, and 78 and shellac cut and paste lo-fi big band sound, have previously been transformed into award winning cartoons by their collaboration with cult animator Alex Budovsky. (UK readers will be aware of at least one of their songs because of its use on a Budovsky created TV advert for Lucozade). And having already created an imaginary soundtrack for a real novel, the Reality Films project provided the opportunity to complement another artist's vision across the decades.

At Saturday's premiere at the National Film Theatre, London the band played on either side of the big screen. A narrator covered the gaps where the original dialogue was removed to make way for the new soundtrack and the Real Tuesday Weld melded their exquisite melodies with Richter's striking visuals.

It worked so well that if anything it improved the film as a whole. Bringing a cohesion to Richter's disparate, though addictive narrative. And bringing the darkest comedic moments to the fore. And that is some compliment. Plans are being made to restage this event and perhaps even to have the Real Tuesday Weld soundtrack available as an option on a remastered DVD release of the film. Look out for it. It's a dream worth buying into.

www.tuesdayweld.com
www.realityfilm.co.uk

see more stories from outsideleft's Screen archive »»

Lake
Editor, London

the first journalism Lake ever had published was a history of Johnny Thunders for Record Collector magazine, since then he has written for publications including the Guardian, Dazed and Confused, the Idler and more recently, outsideleft.com as you have just seen.

MORE STORIES TO READ...


thumb through the ancient archives:

search for something you might like...


sign up for the outsideleft weekly. a selection of new and archived stories every week. Or less.

View previous campaigns.

God Save the Queen, er, King
Snoh Business
Ugh, Snow Allegrah's new record just feels right, right?
There's Something About Charlize
Weirder and Weirderer
Deerhoof and Hella are but two of the emerging personalities in the fractured pantheon of weird rock genius.
A Bicycle Built for Two...OF DEATH!
Boris: Such Sadness in their Smile
We plumb the depths opened up by Boris on both the US and Japanese versions of Smile, watching the cultural divide close the deeper and darker we go.
SOME OTHER THINGS