Start your review of The Dreamers Write a review Shelves: What have movies, love and politics have in common? They are all dream factories. Illusions churning machines that promise adventure, companionship or a better future. And what better age to succumb to their magic than eighteen?
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Start your review of The Dreamers Write a review Shelves: What have movies, love and politics have in common? They are all dream factories. Illusions churning machines that promise adventure, companionship or a better future.
And what better age to succumb to their magic than eighteen? What better place than Paris in spring? The Dreamers are Matthew, Theo and Isabelle, one American expatriate and a pair of French twins brough together by common worshipping in the dark halls of the Chaillot temple: Cinephilia, as it was practised here, in the very front What have movies, love and politics have in common?
The Dreamers are Matthew, Theo and Isabelle, one American expatriate and a pair of French twins brough together by common worshipping in the dark halls of the Chaillot temple: Cinephilia, as it was practised here, in the very front row of the stalls, was a secret society, a cabal, a freemasonry.
Here American Puritanism meets Gallic Decadence, and a different sort of education is taking place, a sensual journey ruled by the same fantasies and demigods of the silver screen. Pin-ups of Gene Tierney and Marlene Dietrich decorate the walls. With the fleetness of foot of those scene-shifters who soundlessly rearrange the decor of our dreams, one setting would dovetail into the next. The whole world outside the apartment fades away, leaving the three youngsters marooned as on a desert island, alone with their febrile imagination.
And, as on a desert island, the dreams slowly morph into nightmares, exploring the darker sides of the psyche.
Matthew, Theo and Isabelle get a chance to escape from a labyrinth of their own making when reality reasserts itself, just in time to save them from starvation, with a brick through the window of their apartment. Quite literally! What is the symbolic message here? First alienated youth seeking escape from reality in silver screen fantasies.
Then rejection of the world in favour of a self-centered exploration of the senses - drugs, sex and rock-an-roll since this is Paris, replace Elvis with Charles Trenet. And ultimately, rebellious youth deciding that they want the world and they want it now, on their own terms. The three friends end up caught in the revolutionary fervour of the spring of , when for a brief moment it seemed like their dreams might change the world, after all.
From the singing of "La Internationale", to strikes and street demonstrations, to grafitti on the walls, the flower-power generation is in full swing:! La societe est un fleur carnivore! Prenez vos desirs pour la realite! Sous les paves la plage! A lot of dreams were crushed under the steel-toed boots and batons of the paramilitary police. But the dreamers will pass into history and inspire future generations to dare to believe in a different, more tolerant, more loving, more free world.
The movie adaptation by Bertolucci is excellent - it differs in some parts from the book, but remains faithful to the original dreams and the original dreamers. Adair was directly involved in the script, so this faithful rendition is not surprising. I am glad I read the novel, because, frankly, I was a little distracted by the beauty of Eva Green while watching the movie, and might have paid less atention to the other characters and to some of the more subtle revelations.
I feel I got to the end of my review too fast, and I wish I could have spent more time discussing the feelings of alienation in Matthew a father he wants to love and who rejects im for his homosexual inclinations , Theo and Isabelle an overbearing, pompous and selfish father with artistic pretensions and a nondescript mother.
He saw himself as the protagonist of the kind of film he detested, a sensitive outcast making his solitary way along sparkling, neon-lit boulevards amid cheerful, bustling crowds moving in the opposite direction.
Gilbert Adair: The Dreamers