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The Dreamers

 
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Danny Baldwin
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 1354
Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: 07.17.2004 5:00 pm    Post subject: The Dreamers Reply with quote

Uh-oh. The innocent fifteen-year-old saw Bertolucci's NC-17 rated experiment.



I just watched The Dreamers last night, and I must say, I'm rather unimpressed. For the entire first two acts, I felt as though Bertolucci wanted to bombard us with wannabe sophistication, as if he just wanted to show off the fact that he knows who Lang and Traffaunt. There isn't any depth to the scenes in which the barely legal three take off their clothes and engage in different aspects of sexuality; just an airy lingering of tribute to old films. In some cases, I would call it porn covered up, just an excuse for making a provacative movie. In fact, only one of the sex scenes, albeit the most graphic (it probably would've earned the NC-17 alne), has any real point.



There are three things I liked, however. Firstly, the apparent detail in the culture clash, not only shown in the streets, but in the faces and speech of the actors, embodying every scene, not just the passionate ones. Secondly, the twins' relationship to their parents, especially how it is exhibited in the final act, which I would lump together into one point of brilliance.



Still though, I would almost still resort to calling it bad eroticism under a clean and thoughtful cover. Nevertheless, watching The Real Cancun afterwards made me think of what it could've been.
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Danny Baldwin
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 1354
Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: 07.17.2004 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On a related note, we should all vote Chaplin vs. Keaton like the three do in the movie. Laughing I'm for Chaplin, and that is certain to tick Beltmann off.
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beltmann
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 07.17.2004 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Danny, I love Charlie too, but my vote is definitely with Keaton. As Michael Pitt reiterates in The Dreamers, Keaton was fascinated by exploring the language and mechanics of cinema. His innovations--especially in terms of using photography as part of his comic landscape, a natural extension of his laconic tone--advanced the medium in a way that Charlie's vaudeville methods never did. Without question Chaplin skillfully transplanted Victorian melodramatic principles to cinema, but Keaton wholly invented a uniquely American vision of what screen comedy could be. If Chaplin was rooted in pathos, Keaton was rooted in serenity: In his films, determination never gives way to self-pity (or self-worship). Plus, I prefer Keaton's fondness for the humor found in authenticity over Chaplin's penchant for creating self-contained, synthetic comedy-in-a-bubble. Charlie may have been the greater star, but Keaton was the greater artist.



Eric
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HoRRoRFaN
Cinematographer


Joined: 06 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: 07.18.2004 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haven't seen this film yet (on my Netflix list of course Smile), but as far as Chaplin vs Keaton goes, I personally prefer Keaton. I don't think any one is necessarily better than the other, but Keaton is funnier to me, I love his deadpan delivery in his work. I agree with Eric especially about the way Keaton overall presented his humor in all the devotion he put in it.
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matt header
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: 07.19.2004 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keaton gets my vote as well; his short One Week is one of the funniest things I've ever seen.



Coincidentally, I really enjoyed The Dreamers. Danny's absolutely right that it has the self-congratulatory air of someone reaching for notoriety, but that didn't completely dilute my joy in sharing in Bertolucci's appreciation of cinema. The reenactment of the Band of Outsiders scene in which they run through the museum gave me chills. Beautiful camerawork too.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 07.19.2004 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

matt header wrote:
Coincidentally, I really enjoyed The Dreamers. Danny's absolutely right that it has the self-congratulatory air of someone reaching for notoriety, but that didn't completely dilute my joy in sharing in Bertolucci's appreciation of cinema. The reenactment of the Band of Outsiders scene in which they run through the museum gave me chills. Beautiful camerawork too.


I also deeply enjoyed the first hour, primarily because it allowed me to indulge my own interest in the French New Wave and the Langlois incident, and the cinematography is breathtaking. Like you, I loved the Louvre scene--brilliantly edited--but at the same time, I recognized that my love for it had more to do with my superficial connection to it than with a larger artistic context. While I enjoyed being congratulated by Bertolucci--or at least by myself--for recognizing his allusions, I have to admit it's a rather hollow version of entertainment.



As for the notoriety factor... I didn't find much in The Dreamers to be especially provocative. I was far less interested in--or provoked by--the graphic content than by the politics being dodged. Often "controversy" seems less rousing when the material is considered in context, and these images taken in context... well, seriously, what's the big deal? To reduce discussion of the film to its rating seems to me a grave disservice to the work as a whole.



Eric
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matt header
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PostPosted: 07.20.2004 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's definitely a guilty pleasure for me: Bertolucci's references to other artworks are what provide the greatest thrill for me, which is indeed a hollow way to impress an audience. (If imitation is the greatest form of flattery, what is straight-on mimicking?) I too wasn't very involved by the sexually provocative or graphic scenes (of which there are few); indeed, the scene that stayed with me (other than the ones that were previously in other movies) was the slow-motion final shot over the credits, which suggests (as you also mentioned) political rebellion over sexual rebellion.
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stefanieduckwitz
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Joined: 07 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: 07.26.2004 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keaton: Just cause he's uber hott. (Just kidding!)
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 07.26.2004 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stefanieduckwitz wrote:
Keaton: Just cause he's uber hott. (Just kidding!)


No, you're not. I know.



Eric
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stefanieduckwitz
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PostPosted: 07.26.2004 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, you caught me. Embarassed
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Danny Baldwin
Studio Exec


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PostPosted: 07.26.2004 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excavate his grave and hang him on your wall. It's your right.
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