Saturday, June 30, 2012

On Re-Watching The Dreamers

It had been almost exactly two years since I had seen The Dreamers, when in the middle of June 2012, I found that I had to re-watch it. That very night. 

My sudden craving for this movie had its origin in the fact that The Dreamers has eventually been one of the catalysators for my current and predictably life-long movie madness. 
I remember that summer night in 2010, when I decided to watch this film. I had only read a few lines about it in a tv paper, but what I had read, and the tiny picture beside the text, somehow didn’t let go of me. And, of course, the title was intriguing. 
Anyhow, I did look up the trailer before watching the film, and then I was sure, a hundred percent sure, that I had to watch it. And that things were going to change, in one way or another.
Things did change, as you know. Something about this movie made me realize, deep down, that films are more than just entertainment. More than just a luxury for holidays and rare boredom, more than just Hollywood and Bollywood with capital letters. 
It may seem obvious to you, that I grew more interested in film art after seeing The Dreamers, as it is loaded with references, quotes and clips from classic films, but actually I didn’t even really pay that much attention to this during my first watch.
You may now ask yourself, what it was then –what did I pay attention to? Well, you can sort that out yourselves. And if you can’t, it wouldn’t help if I tried to explain (I love quoting Becky Bloomwood).
Still, it’s not only what you think it is. I admired the dialogue, for example. To be honest, the dialogue in The Dreamers is some of my favourite ever, be it from books, movies or plays. What brings it alive are of course the actors’ voices, and I loved those too. I wish I was able to listen to their voices and that dialogue for ever. 
And I admired Paris, which I had just visited for the first time that very summer. And I admired the characters, whom I found excentric and honest, while at the same time very strange. 

On my second watch, I have grown to appreciate The Dreamers much more than I’d have ever expected. My first viewing, despite what I just mentioned, was much of a helter-skelter-experience – everything turned upside down, I was confuzzled and shocked, fascinated and disgusted. One of the reasons this film survived my initial confusion was the soundtrack, which I have been listening to ever since. Especially Françoise Hardy’s „Tous les garçons et les filles“, has become a bittersweet favourite. 
Or maybe it was the film’s strangeness that captured me and made me just never forget it. I don’t know. I remember the first time I told someone about it, back then I surely sounded as if I hated it. Which is partly true. But now I’m telling you how much I love it.
What I realized during my re-watch, was that there is more than just one layer to The Dreamers. It’s a film about teenage confusion and adolescence, but it’s also a film about three people’s love for movies. You can even see it as a portrayal of the detection of your love for movies – you are fascinated, seducted, loved... you may want to kill yourself at some point, even (or especially) when you see the best film you’ve ever seen. And maybe movies will destroy you. Or maybe they will save you. 
The Dreamers is about so many things. 
But mainly, it is about dreaming. And living. And that something in between.


  1. Aww this post is so incredible. I sort of feel the same way. I mean the first time I was so freaked out by it, but I really enjoyed it as well. The leads had a huge part to play because all three are so captivating and beautiful. They are like the perfect youth of movies.

    Then there was the love for movies in it. This film was why I became obsessed with the French New Wave. And everytime I watch it, it still entices me like that. The dialogue, music, look everything. It's just so beautiful and hip and dreamy. Gahhhh this film!

    1. THIS FILM!!!
      I get so excited every time I think about it, especially now after having re-watched it.
      All three leads - Eva Green, Michael Pitt and Louis Garrel - are fantastic. I don't know if I've ever seen a young ensemble cast so good... actually, I don't think I've ever seen a film about teenagers that was this good.

      As I commented on Stevee's monthly recap post, I'm eager to watch some Nouvelle Vague films very soon. So many things to catch up with ;).
      But firstly, I need to buy a copy of this one!

      Thanks for your comment, Nikhat.

  2. Excellent post. I love it when you write about films that blew you away. Your passion really comes out in your words, and it's fantastic to read.

    I think this is the best film, that I've seen, about the love of film. I also think that once you've had the chance to see most of the films referenced in it, that you will love it even more.

    1. Thank you SO much! You don't know how happy this comment just made me.

      Actually, when I posted this article today (I'd written it in the summer house, where there was no internet), I had the idea to make a blogathon out of watching all the referenced films. Or at least the ones from which clips were included in the film.

      This movie isn't ranked anywhere near high enough in my 100 Favourite Films list.

  3. Beautiful post! This is a very unique film and it will always be in my heart because that's when I discovered Eva Green and she is now one of my favorite actresses.

    1. I read an interview with Eva Green before I had seen any of her films, and I was fascinated by her already then. Regrettably, I haven't seen too many of her films even now - I'm sure if I see more of her, she will become one of my favourites too.
      Thanks, Sati.

  4. I love your writing style! Your passion for this film really comes across, I can't wait to see this (and I just saw this on the Paris in Genres list. Coincidence maybe? I think the universe is telling me to watch it! haha)

    1. Hopefully the universe will tell EVERYone to watch this movie!
      You should really listen to its advice.
      And thank you so much for your comment, I'm happy if I manage to express my love for film and convince people to watch a great movie.

  5. "you are fascinated, seducted, loved... you may want to kill yourself at some point, even (or especially) when you see the best film you’ve ever seen. And maybe movies will destroy you. Or maybe they will save you."

    Wise words, Mette. I so agree :)

    What happened to you with The Dreamers was what happened to me with Kill Bill. It changed it all for me.

    1. Kill Bill? Interesting.
      It's a wonderful movie too, I just recently watched it for the first time.

      Thanks, fernando.


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