The Dreamers and The French New Wave

A Bernardo Bertolucci film starring Michael Pit who plays a 20-year-old boy named Mathew who goes to Paris for a year to learn French. He becomes friends with these free-spirited twins, Isabelle (Eva Green), and Theo (Louis Garrel). From that point on, the movie becomes a series of intellectually stimulating occurrences that include conversations about politics, film, and the world in general.


The Dreamers is a movie about challenging society’s low tolerance for experimenting. A movie that somewhat justifies this low tolerance, that we do see its consequences. It’s a movie about pushing each other’s buttons and testing each other’s limits. This was the 60’s after all. It was a time where people desired change and contradicting every conventional way of living was the fashionable thing to do.

Francois Truffaut once said, “Film lovers are sick people.”

The Dreamers is about the “freemasonry cinephiles” of the 60’s. It’s an almost neurotic love letter to all the film buffs of the world. The 60’s was the time of the nouvelle vague, and the Cahier du Cinema which was the start of modern cinema as Mathew says in the movie. Francois Truffaut happened to be a product of this; some might say he initiated it. The Cahier du Cinema celebrated the awareness of film history and was quite enthusiastic about American cinema and The Dreamers does exactly that. We find ourselves encapsulated within the games the three characters play throughout the film that we understand the seriousness of it all. They test each other’s knowledge of movies, American movies, and whoever forfeits is dared to do something considerably uncomfortable, usually something sexual. From that we understand that it’s not simply just about film but about everything.

Everything creates “a cosmic harmony”, everything “fits together”. Everything is somehow interconnected to its own that suddenly something political like a petition can be considered an artistic execution of some sort. “une petition est un poem, un poem est une petition.””Everything is political,” to quote Francoise Truffaut’s film The Last Metro (1981).


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