The Dreamers by Bernardo Bertolucci. Set mid-1960’s admits the political riots and the new wave of film occurring. To start off this discussion, many people whether they admit it or not are interested in the mental realms of a dreamer. How can one create a world of their own from passions and curiosities, but physically embody it simultaneously? What better way to display such thoughts and desires than into a novel and film.
The original concept of this film was adapted from the novel, The Holy Terrors, and then went into a translated copy which is titled as the film. The Dreamers was adapted into a film in 2003 by the incomparable Bernardo Bertolucci. In case you’re not familiar with this director, all you truly need to know is that he’s an Italian film god in the cinema universe. And if you haven’t seen his films, then you’re depriving yourself of soul fulfilling art.
When casting the actors, Bertolucci wanted the actors to be as raw as possible. Nothing forced. That being said, it was no surprise when I realized nearly every scene was taken once and that was final cut. The cinephiles to be played in the film consisted of Michael Pitt as Matthew, Louis Garrel as Theo and Eva Green as Isabelle. One specific aspect of the film that is often criticized is the nudity. Eva Green was told of the nudity and sexual intercourse needed from her for specific scenes, before accepting the role. Now I know what you’re probably thinking, why would she accept a role with so much nudity and sex? Well you see, the novel itself has much more sex than the film. In a sense, Bertolucci made a tasteful decision in keeping an appropriate amount and filmed it well enough to be considered an art form in itself. Living only a few blocks from the set, Eva would come to an old flat set in the city of Paris to work with an Italian director and two young boys in the creation of the universe that beheld the dreamers.
Without analyzing and knowledge of detail behind the development of the film, the viewer can consider it simplistic and rather confusing at certain moments. The first moments of The Dreamers already set the nonchalant, yet rebellious nature that sets the mood for the entire film. With a soundtrack consisting of psychedelic rock, 1940’s hits, soothing French tunes, and classic scores from past films that every cinephile should hear at least once in their life. Set in the mid-1960’s, admits the protests and war, the cocooned lifestyle that embodies The Dreamers surmounts all reality. I will not speak any more on the rest of the film, because I strongly recommend everyone to view it and experience with an open mind. Noticing the clothing, art references such as the Venus De Milo, the classes film scenes the characters reenact, and the mentality the adolescents have. They become children in their own fantasies and games becoming oblivious to the real world.
Now here is a secret I saw unravel before my eyes as I experienced The Dreamers. An individual who truly seeks to become a Dreamer must always have their own principles to dictate a life in both reality and one’s own reality. Choose an era you can passionately embrace: The music, the revolt, the fashion, another time with a different feel. One can feel a connection to another time. A time when the buildings were created with character, where the cafes were bustling, and the music was raw with every emotion. Become infatuated with an art: To have the eye of an artist, one will see the human body for what it is. Let’s have a brief reminder on the society that proved the female body was art. To get one thing straight, the female body is the highest form of art. Women have the ability to be sullen, yet intimidating. Pure, yet vile. Be as effortless as the opera singer with an ivory voice. My final recommendation, but certainly not least. Never be afraid to be unconventional.