MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 2,751 this week

Life Is a Dream (1987)
"Mémoire des apparences" (original title)

 -  Drama | Fantasy  -  30 December 1988 (USA)
7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 55 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 4 critic

A baroque mix of revolutionary politics, pop culture and semiotics loosely based on the play by Pedro Calderón de la Barca. A young prince learns that life is just a dream from which we ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (play), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

Emmy Awards 2014

We have the winners, photos and more in our 2014 Emmys section.


Related News

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 450 titles
created 02 Jan 2012
 
list image
a list of 1001 titles
created 24 Jul 2013
 
a list of 41 titles
created 11 months ago
 
list image
a list of 1000 titles
created 1 month ago
 
a list of 995 titles
created 3 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Life Is a Dream" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Life Is a Dream (1987)

Life Is a Dream (1987) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Life Is a Dream.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Blind Revenge (2010)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Sir Paul, a distinguished author, blinded in a horrific accident, advertises for an amanuensis, an assistant to help him with his writing. He employs the amiable Jane Ryder to be his eyes ... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Ruiz
Stars: Tom Conti, Daryl Hannah, Miriam Margolyes
That Day (2003)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A father (Michel Piccoli) is scheming to have his slightly mental daughter from an earlier marriage (Elsa Zylberstein) killed by allowing a murderous psychopath (Bernard Giraudeau) to be ... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Ruiz
Stars: Bernard Giraudeau, Elsa Zylberstein, Jean-Luc Bideau
Animation | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Six outwardly average individuals have elaborate fetishes they indulge with surreptitious care. A mousy letter carrier makes dough balls she grotesquely ingests before bed. A shop clerk ... See full summary »

Director: Jan Svankmajer
Stars: Petr Meissel, Gabriela Wilhelmová, Barbora Hrzánová
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Take a walk into the weird world of filmmaker Raul Ruiz as he takes us to Paris for a twisted ride. A man which shares four names and four personalities (which is the real one?) is the link... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Ruiz
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anna Galiena, Marisa Paredes
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two narrators, one seen and one unseen, discuss possible connections between a series of paintings. The on-screen narrator walks through three-dimensional reproductions of each painting, ... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Ruiz
Stars: Jean Rougeul, Chantal Paley, Jean Raynaud
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Inspired in form by American police TV shows and soap operas, The Golden Boat is a madcap, surreal dash through the streets of New York city, telling the mysterious and often hilarious ... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Ruiz
Stars: Michael Kirby, Federico Muchnik, Brett Alexander
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Raoul Ruiz
Stars: Jessica Forde, Alain Sachs
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Set in 1973 during the coup d'etat in Chile, Max recalls his encounters in London during Worl War II with French aviator Antoine, a childhood hero he first met in his native country one ... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Ruiz
Stars: François Cluzet, Grégoire Colin, Christian Colin
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: Raoul Ruiz
Stars: Jacqueline Bollen, Marie-Luce Bonfanti, Ioanna Gkizas
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
Director: Raoul Ruiz
Stars: Anne Alvaro, Olivier Angèle, Gérard Maimone
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: Raoul Ruiz
Stars: Melvil Poupaud, Elsa Zylberstein, Lambert Wilson
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Chilean exiles in Paris discuss the problems facing them. They kidnap and attempt to re-educate a touring singer from their fatherland.

Director: Raoul Ruiz
Stars: Daniel Gélin, Françoise Arnoul, Huguette Faget
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Sylvain Thirolle ...
Ignacio Vega
Roch Leibovici
Bénédicte Sire ...
Astrea
Jean-Bernard Guillard ...
Prince Segismundo
Jean-Pierre Agazar
Alain Halle-Halle
Jean-François Lapalus
Alain Rimoux
Laurence Cortadellas
Edit

Storyline

A baroque mix of revolutionary politics, pop culture and semiotics loosely based on the play by Pedro Calderón de la Barca. A young prince learns that life is just a dream from which we wake when we die. And that dreams may be as real as life. Written by International Film Circuit <ifcplanet@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 December 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Life Is a Dream  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Responso (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
An inventive exercise in semiotics
26 May 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Life is a Dream is the name of a 17th century play by Calderon de la Barca. Whiler there are scenes from this play in Raoul Ruiz's film it is not actually an adaptation of the play. The film begins by explaining that Ignacio Vega memorized the play and then later used it as a mnemonic device to help him remember the names of (and other important information about) 15,000 members of a political group. Later Vega was captured and he forced himself to forget both the play and the coded information he had memorized.

As the story begins Vega has returned to his hometown where he has been asked to remember the forgotten information. His efforts to do so are in vain until he happens to go to the movie theater he frequented as a child. Coincidentally, that theater is playing the exact same movies it had played twenty years earlier and somehow seeing these movies again also causes him to slowly remember the play. From this point on Ruiz's film switches between the films Vega is watching in the theater (all of which were created by Ruiz as pastiches of various genre movies), his day to day life including his experiences at the theater and with his political allies, and scenes from the play he is slowly remembering. This being a Ruiz film these three things are in no way separate from one another: sometimes Vega sees himself and his fellow moviegoers in the films he watches and sometimes the action of the films spills into the theater; eventually the same begins to happen with the play.

Ruiz's characteristic visual inventiveness is utilized to great effect in Life is a Dream. This is very much in the same vein as his other 80's work so there are many monochromatic scenes and odd juxtapositions of characters and backgrounds. Ruiz also uses this film to express some of the ideas he had recently gleaned from his academic career. The main idea here is that the subconscious mind maintains its equilibrium by creating associations between experiences and sometimes those associations are obscure while other times they are oddly coherent and appropriate. Ruiz was evidently especially interested in the study of semiotics at this time and this film is a logical result of that interest.

Life is a Dream is very often hard to follow but as usual for Ruiz the film isn't really about plot details but rather about imagery and ideas. These are so successful so often that it's easy to forgive the less successful segments of the film. If approached with the right attitude this should be a thought provoking and diverting viewing experience.


8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Life Is a Dream (1987) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?