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Film / The Dreamers

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The Dreamers is a 2003 film by Bernardo Bertolucci based on the novel The Holy Innocents by Gilbert Adair.

The film is set against the backdrop of the 1968 student riots in Paris. Matthew (Michael Pitt), an American exchange student, befriends Isabelle (Eva Green) and Théo (Louis Garrel), an unusually close twin brother and sister, and becomes involved with the sister.

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.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted. Isabelle gets hers while taking a bath with Theo and Matthew. Theo notes it's "good news", since she'd already had unprotected sex with Matthew multiple times.
  • 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 à part. 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.
  • Their First Time: Matthew having sex with Isabelle turns out to be hers, which surprises him greatly as she'd acted far more experienced.
  • The "The" Title: The title is The Dreamers.
  • Twincest: Heavily implied, though never explicitly confirmed, between Isabelle and Theo. At the very least Isabelle was a virgin until Matthew.
  • Twin Threesome Fantasy: Subverted by the fact that one twin is male and the other is female.
  • Unexpected Virgin: Isabelle turns out to be one before having sex with Matthew, surprising him.


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