Indie Gems: The Dreamers
A few years ago I went on this kick where I decided to see a bunch of NC-17 movies just because it's so hard to promote them. Most movie theaters won't show them, directors have to rely on festivals, the Internet, and word of mouth to get them noticed. While a good portion of NC-17 films are strictly marketed around sex (A Dirty Shame) some dig deeper. (Mysterious Skin) 'Dreamers' is one of those films that does. While it's got a lot of sometimes uncomfortable sexual content (it was directed by Bernardo Bertolucci for God's sake) It's actually a unique, interesting story. Shot in a beautiful way with some very talented actors.
'Dreamers' follows Matthew (Michael Pitt, 'The Last Days' 'Bully') an exchange student from California currently studying in Paris. He's a film buff, he loves the cinema and loves the french even more for it. 'Only the French would host a cinema in a palace," He remarks in the beginning of the film where he describes his favorite place to catch a film. It's spring of 1968, lots of students in Paris are rioting. During one of these said riots Matthew meets Isabelle (Eva Green 'Casino Royale' 'The Golden Compass') and her twin brother Theo. (Louis Garrel 'Actresses' 'A Beautiful Person' - all French Films) They are fellow film lovers and are drawn to the interesting exchange student. There parent's are leaving for a month, so they invite Matthew to come temporarily live with them in their parent's luxury, book filled apartment. What starts off as a friendship surrounding movies soon turns into something Matthew never expected, and certainly will never come across again.
Paris is a beautiful city, What I loved the most about this film where the little things. How cool Isabelle and Theo's loft-ish, bohemian apartment was laid out. The little game they'd play where they would act out a scene from a film and if the other did not guess correctly they would have to "take the challenge". (this game is spliced together with clips of the films they are mimicking) Matthew, Isabelle and Theo running through the Louvre in record time, the film just has a lot of beautiful little quirks about it. It gets intense at times, uncomfortable, sweet, loving, interesting, daring all in one. All the actors were very brave to take on these unconventional roles, and their careers have somewhat paid off.
Bertolucci hasn't directed anything since 'Dreamers' which is a shame. The man who is most famous for 'Last Tango in Paris' and 'The Last Emperor' has a lot to offer. I hope he does something again soon.
Memorable Quote: "Other people's parents are always nicer than our own, and yet for some reason, our grandparents are always nicer than other people's." - Isabelle (Eva Green)