L'Ile au trésor


Time Out says

Not so much an adaptation as an extended riff on a Robert Louis Stevenson standard. It begins with young Jim Hawkins - who's really called Jonathan, played in excruciating dubbed American by the angelic Poupaud in the English language version - watching his favourite TV serial, and then making the rest up from life when a power failure cuts him off in mid-episode. The hotel where he lives with his ill-matched parents (Castel and Karina) is visited by a motley crew of salt-encrusted sea-wrecks, and by Léaud as Jim's mentor in narrative, or as his alter ego. Midway, the film turns into something like a traditional seafaring yarn, and takes a decided downturn from the wildly artificed first half. But through the morass of entangled story, false clues, and literary references to Borges, Melville and quite possibly Thomas Pynchon, it weaves a dense web of allusions that carry it away from straight narrative into a strange terrain that's part dream, part psychoanalysis, part film theory, and several parts piss-take. Delayed for five years by litigation, cut down from the original four-hour conception, it's extraordinary, if patchy.


Release details

115 mins

Cast and crew

Paolo Branco, Raúl Ruiz
Raúl Ruiz
Melvil Poupaud
Martin Landau
Vic Tayback
Lou Castel
Jeffrey Kime
Anna Karina
Jean-François Stévenin
Charles Schmidt
Jean-Pierre Léaud
Pedro Armendariz Jr