Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Dreamers

The Dreamers (2003) - dir. Bernardo Bertolucci

The Dreamers is, along with Mulholland Drive and The Fall, the film I hold closest to my heart. In short, The Dreamers perfectly captures what it is to be a cinephile, a child of the silver screen, one of the insatiables. This film is ultimately about me.
I digress. 1968, the world is in a state of radical change, where sex, politics and cinema collide. Matthew, a young American in Paris, spends his time in the smoky world of the Cinematheque. Matthew is a kindred spirit to me, naive, idealistic and obsessed with film. For us, Godard, Ray and Fuller hold as much reverence and importance as Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. It is in this world that he becomes entwined with twins Isabelle and Théo. . 
Invited to their apartment for the summer, Matthew becomes drawn into something of fantasy. The trio quiz each other on classic film, recreating scenes from Blonde Venus, Queen Christina and Breathless.There is debate, Keaton vs Chaplin and Clapton vs Hendrix. There is politics, but through a film lens. Take life as being one giant film. For Théo, Mao a great director with a cast of millions. But for Matthew that entails that we would become extras with the same book in a film consisting entirely of extras. The twins share share a strong physical and emotional bond, to which Matthew sacrifices his innocence and roots to join. In effect, their apartment becomes a fantasy, an escape from the reality of a world burning outside from riots and uprisings. A fantasy that must ultimately be broken.
The Dreamers came to me at a time where I was transfixed by the glow of cinema, when I myself was a dreamer. I urge you to see this film, and feel this intractable pull the silver screens held on Isabelle, Théo and Matthew. Truly one of my favorites of all time. 10/10


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