Fancy, Fancy Being Rich combines Guy Maddin’s favorite film fetishes and is thus instantly recognizable as one of his flamboyant creatures. His visual technique replicates the scratched and scarred silver nitrate skin of the silent films he idolizes. His works have an operatic flavor, as if perfectly located on a melodramatic borderline between repression and release. Perhaps this also explains the hilarious sexual symbolism that runs rampant through his intricately imagined and riotously perverse mise en scene.
A group of mysterious men inexplicably arise from Lake Winnipeg. They make their way overland and each climbs through the window of a local home. Here they have frenetic erotic interludes with individual women (dressed and made up completely convincingly as silent film heroines). They have been longingly awaiting these watery sprites while their husbands slumber. As they depart, the men grab the women’s jewelry boxes and return to the waters from whence they came. All of this takes place as a crazed soprano sings feverishly in the background.