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The Dreamers
DVD disk
Oct 9, 2004 By: Indiana Sev
The Dreamers order
Director:
Bernardo Bertolucci

Actors:
Michael Pitt
Eva Green
Louis Garrel

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Its 1968 and a young American student, Matthew, goes to Paris to study for a year and befriends a sister (Isabelle) and brother (Theo) who share his passion and knowledge for the cinema. When the siblings parents go away for a month, they invite their new friend to move in with them and thats when themes of love, lust, romance, incest, activism, communism and a whole lot more are tackled. In other words, it gets very pretentious
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This movie started off real well and I mean...immediately! The cool opening credits alone had me foaming at the mouth and as soon as I discovered the love for classic films the characters all shared and the special friendship they all formed, I got even more intrigued. Early on, and then sporadically through the film, Bertolucci inserts some scenes and moments from classics films such as TOP HAT, FREAKS, QUEEN CHRISTINA, A BOUT DU SOUFFLE as well as others to either mirror or compliment whats happening in his film. At this point, I had hit my peak of excitement as it was not only a novel approach, but made the film all the more appealing to me. Then things started spiraling into pretension when Matthew moved in with his two friends and soon discovered the two have a very clear incestuous love for one another. Instead of bolting, Matthew instead hangs around, falls in love with Isabelle and then all three basically start exploring love and lust until Matthew becomes fully immersed in this dysfunctional siblings sex/love affair. Oh, I get it, the repressed American starts seeing the light, awakens from his prudish slumber and starts letting loose, eh? Gimme a break...

Bertolucci is well known for making sexually daring and renowned films like this. LAST TANGO IN PARIS is his most famous one and I kind of got the impression he was almost trying to duplicate the shock value and importance* of that film with THE DREAMERS um, minus the butter. Whether that was his intention or not doesnt really matter because not only did I not buy it, I became quite annoyed that the film was veering off course and had its three main characters turn from cool cinephiles into self-important bores. Then Bernardo throws in some communist discussions as well as a completely anti-climactic finale. The dialogue also started feeling frustratingly unconvincing and forced as the film wore on. In the end, I have many more complaints about this film than I do compliments. In fact, as the movie ended - I hated it. Itll take a lot more than hot sex scenes, seemingly deep dialogue and Eva Greens gorgeous bare and buxom chest (pretty much the entire film) to make me forget how they blew a great premise that couldve centered around censorship of film and 60s activism and instead, turned this movie into a very forgettable faade of what an important movie really is.

*Importance given by many critics, worldwide not necessarily my own.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary by director Bertolucci, writer Gilbert Adair and producer Jeremy Thomas: The three men bring a lot to the table and enlighten with more than a few anecdotes. Although Bertoluccis slow manner of speaking might get on your nerves after a while. Solid commentary track nonetheless.

Bertolucci makes The Dreamers Documentary (52 minutes): This feature is a very in-depth and up-close look at the making of the film. Produced by the BBC, the documentary focuses a lot on some of the real life events that occurred in Paris, specifically in the spring of 68 that play a backdrop to THE DREAMERS. Bertolucci also expands a lot on the themes of sex, politics, cinema and music that are prevalent in his film. A very good documentary that sheds much light on the film.

Outside the Window: Events in France, May 1968 (12 minutes): Film scholars, authors and professors all chime in on the events that were taking place in that very turbulent and important month of May, in 1968, the same time in which THE DREAMERS takes place. This extra really digs deep into specific protests that were taking place all over the city and country at the time. A great addition to these extras.

Music Video & Trailers: The GARDEN STATE teaser ROCKS!!!
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Whatever. I gave the film a 5 on 10, which pretty much means some will hate it (as I did) and others will think its pure genius - so approach with caution. The DVD Clinics diagnosis is that you stay the f*ck away. But if youre too young to rent a porn flick, thisll probably do the trick.
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