Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

23 February 2004

The Dreamers

This evening I saw Bernardo Bertolucci's newest film The Dreamers, with Michael Pitt, Louis Garrel, and Ms. Eva Green.  The film is an NC-17-rated exploration of the 1960s, cinephilia, incest, and politics.  I didn't hate it.  I thought it was pretty much crap, though.  I guess I really think it didn't have much of a point.  It is well made, there is no denying that.  It is shot extremely well and the actors are fine, though Michael Pitt will never be anything other than annoying to me after playing that rat bastard Tommy Gnossis.  He is forever ugly.

What is this NC-17 thing about?  I mean... so there's nudity, so what?  There isn't really anything that explicit in it.  The gross-out factor is about the same here as it was in, say, American Pie, so I guess I'm not sure what the whole scary rating is about.  At any rate it doesn't matter, since I'm over 17 and I went to see a movie made for adults. 

I have to say this, though.  The movie is an extended study of complete silliness.  It is about these university-aged fools who, I suppose, really embody the spirit of the 1960s by not working and having sex all day long [that's sarcasm, folks].  This is what the 1960s were about: sitting in a bathtub with your lover and your brother while your parents are away and talking about Chairman Mao and Jean-Luc Godard.  These kids fight over whether Keaton is funnier than Chaplin and they reference Top Hat and Scarface and Queen Christina.  The parts where the old films are spliced in with the new are really cool... especially the Bande à Part sequence, which is very fun.  But mainly they are silly little people who don't do anything at all. 

There is plenty of nudity, though, and it is equal opportunity, though the bisexuality present in the book doesn't find its way into the film (much to my chagrin.)  It's the sixties after all.  I mean, how is kissing your girlfriend and getting her menstrual blood in your mouth any more risque than having sex with a boy?

Today I saw a play that had an infinitely more interesting view of the 1960s than this film: The Wind Cries Mary.  It is an adaptation of Hedda Gabler set in 1969 with Hedda as a Japanese immigrant married to an Academic at a university at a time when Academia was being called into question as part of the problem of the 1960s instead of part of the solution.  The play is fierce and vicious and unrelenting.  It was excellent.  I recommend it heartily: www.eastwestplayers.org.

After the play I had dinner with Linda Bisesti and we caught up.  It was very nice.  I haven't seen her in a while.

I guess I will sleep now.  I do not want to go to work in the morning.