Scripted documentary and interview with artist-sculptor-filmmaker-surrealist Hans Richter -- his place in history and his pioneering work in several areas. Richter talks about his career -- which started at the beginning of the century -- early experiments with the movie camera, association with the world of the Surrealists, conflict with the National Socialists in Germany, the origins of Dada, and the evolution of his own style in painting, drawing and collage.
Many films clips and examples of his graphic work illustrate his themes: opposition of the Nazis, who saw that chaos in art was inimical to their own idea of a new world order; how Dada has affected Pop Art and "the new realism" in literature, music, painting, art and theater; the Bauhaus group and other contemporary artists from many fields - Jean Arp, Tristan Tzara, Marcel Duchamp, Darius Milhaud, Leger, Sergei Eisenstein, Man Ray.
Film excerpts include "Ghosts Before Breakfast" (bowler hays flying in early trick photography), "Inflation" (a collage-film response to the devastating German inflation of 1921), "Rythmus 21" (abstract designs to music, long before Disney's "Fantasia"), "Dreams That Money Can Buy", "Dadascope" and "8 by 8" (a chess film made with Jean Cocteau.) Colour