The Dreamers:
An Inspiration

         Bernardo Bertolucci is amazing. He is known throughout the world for his spectacular, mesmerizing, and beautiful movies. One of those movies, The Dreamers (2003), inspired me to make movies. It was that first thing that you look at and say, “I get it.” It is that beauty of understanding that makes everything worthwhile.

         Most people find the movie disturbing. The unrated version (by chance the only version to watch) has some very insane images in it. Some describe it as gross and unnecessary. But has that not been a critique of art for centuries? Why draw him nude? Does he have to die like that? Why is she topless? These questions people have been asking for centuries about people’s art. After the renaissance some guy somewhere decided to put a leaf over some statue’s private parts because it was “unnecessary” and thus not art.

         That is bullshit. Censorship of the art is like taking a meaning and only telling half of it. If you cannot handle the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

         But this is why I love The Dreamers so much, that through all its questionable scenes, I got it. I saw the American transform throughout the movie, affected by the circumstances around him as much as France itself was affected by the cinema revolution. I saw the budding of sexuality, dealing with it, and finding love in even the most ugly of places because that is what love is. That is what art is. That is what life is.

         Alan Bennet once wrote: “You may not understand poetry now. But later, when you experience the things the author is, you will appreciate learning it and you can use it. Sometimes, you won’t understand ‘till you’re dying. We’re making your deathbeds, boys.” That is what I feel like when I watch The Dreamers. Some people do not get it; they do not see how hard it is to find love, how harder still it is to accept it…in all its forms.

         Bernardo Bertolucci is a poet. His work, The Dreamers, is art. His art has touched me--inspired me to not only love the ugly as well as the beauty but see the message hidden between the lines. The Dreamers has become my inspiration.

A. J. Casey

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