The movie :
The Dreamers is an romantic drama film drama film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci and released in 2003. It is a co-production by cinematographic compagnies from France, United Kingdom and Italy. This movie was inspired by Gilbert Adair‘s novel called The Holy Innoncents (1988) which was inspired itself by Jean Cocteau‘s book named Les Enfants Terribles (1929).
The story occured against the backdrop of the May 1968 riots. Matthew, a newcomer student from America arrives in Paris and stumble upon twins during a manifestation : Isabelle and Theo. They quickly become friends especially thanks to their enthusiasm in film. The French brother and sister decide to welcome Matthew during their parents’ holidays. Three all alone in the appartment, they lay down rules of a game which will promptly take an unhealthy and oppressive shape. They will play with fire and this joke will led them to discover and understand their own identity like a kind of initiatory journey.
I appreciated this movie for several reasons :
First, the numerous cinematographic references : the three heroes talk about cinema and often reproduce cult scenes of different films in their own way such as Bande à Part, À Bout de Souffle, Scarface, Top Hat or Freaks and that makes me want to see some of it. Their imitations are pretty funny and in a way, The Dreamers is a tribute to the cinema.
Then, an another important point is the music. The film is immerged in a musical universe that I love : psychedelic rock, hard-rock with various artists and groups such as Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors…
May 68 is an interesting background that I have never seen in others movies. There is even stock footage of this time in the picture.
There are also many striking shots thanks to the lighting, the picture composition etc.
This movie is constituted by a significant number of cultural references that makes it a truly interesting film even if I thought that it went round in circles. May 68 is here but not really operated… The story is not totally captivating even if the characters are relevant. Besides, sometimes the viewer doesn’t feel comfortable especially because of the almost perverse relation between the siblings and it becomes a kind of love triangle. This movie represents excess and the decadent youth of the 60’s, although it is not my favorite film, you should watch it !