Film / The Dreamers

The Dreamers is a 2003 film by Bernardo Bertolucci based on the novel The Holy Innocents by Gilbert Adair. In the film, an American exchange student in 1968 Paris befriends an unusually close twin brother and sister, and becomes involved with the sister. It is set against the backdrop of the 1968 student riots.

This film provides examples of:

  • Birthmark of Destiny: Theo and Isabelle use this to support their claim that they are identical twins.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: Isabelle catches Theo masturbating to old pictures of actress Marlene Dietrich, and then has him do it in front of her and Matthew.
  • Shout-Out: To lots of old movies starring the likes of Greta Garbo. The characters often reenact scenes from classic movies (the director then usually cuts to a clip of the original). Example: Matthew, Theo and Isabelle run through the Louvre in order to break the record set in the movie Bande part (Band of Outsiders). Also, the twins play a game in which they later involve Matthew : you reenact a movie scene and the other person has to recognize that scene or else fulfill a usually squicky dare.
  • The '60s: the movie is basically a collection of everything that was cool about the sixties. It is an idealized vision full of the usual images : free love, weed all around, Janis Joplin records, and debates about Maoism, the Vietnam War, and the greatness of Eric Clapton vs. Jimi Hendrix.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: during the loss of Isabelle's virginity Theo cracks an egg, symbolizing the loss of innocence. Since the egg joins two others in a frying pan, it may also symbolize Matthew's induction into the a serious relationship with the twins.