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Bertolucci's Parisian Dreams


- Shooting is almost over on the Parisian set of The Dreamers, and the Italian director speaks about his three protagonists' dreams of Revolution

Bertolucci's Parisian Dreams

Thirty years after Last Tango in Paris, Bernardo Bertolucci has returned to the French capital for his latest film, The Dreamers. Set in May 1968 and based on “The Holy Innocents” by Gilbert Adair, it is the story of three young people, played by Louis Garrel, Eva Green and Michael Pitt, united by a passion for cinema, who discover life and sex at a time when “you went to sleep convinced that you’d wake up in the future”.
The film is in its last week of production in a building situated between the Arc de Triomphe and the Gare Saint Lazare, that Bertolucci requisitioned, and where he also set up his offices and post-production facilities. The Dreamers is produced by Jeremy Thomas, co-produced by Medusa and is scheduled for release in 2003.
Although The dreamers is not an historical film about the student revolt of May '68, the events of those tumultuous days were a constant not least because many scenes were filmed at the Sorbonne, Trocadero, in the Latin Quarter where the barricades were set up. “This film is an attempt to portray young people in the spirit of those years. That was a time when young people got actively involved in causes. There was an air of optimism, of hope in the future, a Utopia. They were under the illusion that it was possible to change the world by breaking the law.” Bertolucci feels that contemporary youth “don’t know what happened in 1968. The subject is not discussed, not even by the children of those who took part. Maybe it’s because they are embarrassed or feel they failed in some way.” Whatever the reason, Bertolucci notes that things are very different today. “AT that time confusion reigned between politics, love of films, music and sex.”
The Dreamers is also the result of disappointment. “I had been thinking about making a film that summed up the 20th century for a long time,” says Bertolucci, “ but it would have been a travesty of history. Today I and the people who took part in the events of thirty years ago no longer trust and have lost our passion for politics.” Bertolucci says that this also applies to Italy although “I’m full of hope but at times, I do feel a sense of resignation” and has words of praise for Nanni Moretti “in a state of grace.”
“It’s not true that you can’t make films in Berlusconi’s Italy, but I see Berlusconi as a nightmare because of the overwhelming power he wields in Europe through his televisions and I see him at the Elysée Palace and in Downing Street.”

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