The Inner Life of Martin Frost

the inner life of martin frostThese are some comments about the film you are going to watch tomorrow.  As you can see, as usual, reactions to Paul Auster’s films are different and controversial.  So I am curious to know your personal response to the film.  


A fanciful and engaging metaphysical mystery about a writer, two beauties, love and the challenges of the creative process.


What starts out as a clever exploration of consciousness quickly descends into underplotted folly.


The inner life of Martin Frost reeks of misogyny and the film that enshrines his egomania makes half-assed aspirations to Goethe.


Paul Auster’s suffocating romance makes you feel as if you’re helplessly stuck inside the head of the most pretentious person you know.


Paul Auster’s latest film is about the love story of a gruffly antisocial novelist (David Thewlis) and a strange young woman (Irene Jacob) with nonstop whimsical philosophizing about the subjective nature of reality.


This is a review I found and changed a bit to make it more comprehensible to you.


Martin Frost (Thewlis) holes up in a friend’s empty house in the country to recuperate from a three-year writing jag. But his respite is extremely short-lived, as he hatches an idea for a new short story. He wakes up the next morning beside a comely, near-nude vivacious woman, Claire (Jacob), whose last name, Martin, is "coincidentally" his first.

They meet paranoid — at least on his side, since Claire has a radiant smile that just won’t quit. Introducing herself as the niece of the house’s owner, seeking refuge to work on her philosophy thesis, Claire proceeds to charm the pants off her unwilling host and enable his process.

As Martin’s prose progresses, Claire visibly weakens, until Martin, having apparently read Poe, sacrifices his art for his muse and fights to keep her in the "real" world, leading to Orpheus-tinged variations on "Ghost."

Auster throws in Michael Imperioli as a plumber-cum-amateur writer for comic relief. Imperioli, as it turns out, has his own otherworldly "muse," Anna (Auster’s lovely daughter Sophie), who appears as floppily inchoate as Imperioli’s unfocused writing.

The script inserted into Auster’s 2002 novel "The Book of Illusions" and finally expanded to its present form and was shot in Portugal.

Auster’s frequent voice-over narration clarifies just whose "inner life" haunts the enterprise, while Christophe Beaucarne struggles to find nuance in Auster’s vision of paranormal creativity.

As you are already used to, I would like to refer you to youtube so that you can watch the trailer and other scenes from the film.  Enjoy.  See you tomorrow.  J

The Inner Life of Martin Frost – Official Trailer



The inner life of Martin Frost


The Inner Life of Martin Frost

DVD menu design (this is quite interesting! You will tell me why!)


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43 risposte a The Inner Life of Martin Frost

  1. anonimo scrive:

    Arnoldi Martina

    quite interesting…yes!I think this is interesting because it underlines WORDS,words are the main theme of this film.Claire is the power for Martin,thanks of her he can write is the objective,write is put lots of words together in a creative way!this dvd menu disign is excellent!

  2. MicheleDB scrive:

    I am not able to analize very well a movie because, concerning films, my culture is very low.

    That film faces with a particular theme and thanks to the links between the love for the woman and the words of the writer, the film adopt an atmosphere of unhappiness and lack of achievement. Very characteristic is the last video where, through the geometry, the sounds, the shapes and the armony of words you can explain tha characters and tell theirs story.

  3. anonimo scrive:

    Guarino Ilaria

    Already reading the title you can guess that “The inner life of Martin Frost” is a “spiritual” and “intimate” film.Is a film that develops itself between reality and imagination, and, till the very last scene, you can not separate the truth from mystery. For the way it procedes and the shots “Te inner life of Martin Frost” appear to be a French film.Is a very intellectual movie and full of philosophical references and this film requires to be watched carefully by the viewers to grasp these references.

    Very interesting is the way Paul Auster has been able to represent in a film the relationship between the two characters that are nothing more than the writer and his muse.

    He managed to transmitts this close tie between the “creator” and his “creation” that a normal person can not understand.

    Personally i don t like so much that film.I found it quite slow and to much methaphisical and paranormal.

    Despite this i recognize the intellectual and film value of this movie.

    Dvd menu design is quite interesting.

    The words seems a swarm first compact and then gradually becomes rarefied.The muse incorporates the words that are the power of the writer.

  4. anonimo scrive:

    I liked the movie also if I think I hasn’t understood very well its sense.That’s why,as I pointed out last wednesday, I’ ve first thought to a parallelism with Auster’s romance ‘the oracle night’. In this book the main character(a writer) discovers the power of the writing because the things he wrote, happened in real life,his life. So I initially thought that the movie’s story was similar to the book one.I was convinced of it, watching the scene when claire died while martin finishing his novel.I liked this idea of parallelism, of link between the two works.

    whatever is the sense,this strange story appealed me, and since it is a fantastic story, I liked it only for this reason and maybe it doesn’t need rational explications because it is only Auster imagination.

    I think there will be an interesting discussion on it tomorrow during our class.


  5. PaulAuster2008 scrive:

    I hope that what we discussed in class about the film has somehow clarified lots of your doubts. As we will see in the two novels we are going to read, namely “Travels in the Scriptorium” and “Man in the Dark”, Auster develops the theme of writing. In his works there is often the figure of a person (generally a man) who is writing, or who is obsessed with the idea of writing. Writing becomes a way of preserving oneself, of pinning down oneself, so that you do not get lost in life. Then there is the blurry boundary line between reality and imagination, between the real world and the imagined world. The oniric dimension plays an important role in the film “The Inner Life of Martin Frost” too. It is about metafiction (the way a writer writes, the way he is inspired and the way he lives, etc.), therefore there are different layers of meaning.

    The inspiring muse is a beautiful woman and the engergy that she releases is often conveyed through sexual intercouses. It seems, as we tried to come up in class, that a writer absorbes creative energy from nature, from the interaction with other people, and from the intimate relationship with a partner. All these elements fuel his creativity. When his inner “tank” is full, then he can write and in order to do that he needs somehow to isolate himself in order not to get distracted by these outer sources of energy. Should there there be any doubts do not hesitate to ask in class.


  6. anonimo scrive:

    When I saw “the inner life of Martin Frost” I didn’t like it immediately,because I didn’t understand it.I have already saw a film like this because the last scene made me remember something but I don’t know what.In spite of this, the film was a little bit strange,a little bit philosophical,well there are two figures:in one hand,Martin Frost,a writer,who needs to stay alone to write and who goes in a house that his friend lends to him and on the other hand,Claire Martin,who always reads books,who loves philosophy and who pretends to be somebody else,to be the niece of the owner of the house.They both fall in love each other and begin a relationship that continues even if Martin knows that she is not the person she says to be.Suddenly Claire takes ill,seriously,and here there is a scene that underlines the sense of the film:you see at the same time,Martin Frost who is writing a new story and who is finishing it,then Claire who is dying and the fire in the fire-place is going out.Obviously Martin saves Claire.Claire represents the muse who inspires Martin in writing.When she goes away he can’t continue to write but at the end they meet each other again.This time Martin must wear a scarf over the eyes not to see her otherwise she disappears.At the end there is the last scene where Martin can get off the scarf and see Claire.I don’t understand why he can,now,do this.The scene where he can’t see her made me remember about the story of Orfeo and Euridice:Orfeo went in the Ade to free his wife Euridice but he mustn’t turn around to see her when they are going out of the Ade otherwise she disappears.He is so in love with her and so happy to free her that he can’t wait,he turns to see her and he condemnes her to stay in the Ade forever!

    Santarossa Barbara

  7. anonimo scrive:

    All the short film is caracterized by the theme of the memoris because of the fog ffect that accompany all images and the white background. About the words and the fade effect I think that could stand for the futility of all the things are written, bot I’m very puzzled by this comment because is in contrast with the main theme of the film. There is also the typewriter that Paul Auster use to write his books.


  8. anonimo scrive:

    “The inner of Martin Frost” is a film based on the figure of a writer set against his writing, on the link between the creator and the creation. The protagonist, Martin Frost, after having finished a new book, decides to take refuge in a calm and peaceful place where find a new inspiration. On the other hand there is a strange and beautiful, intriguing and unknown woman. “The writer writes to live, the woman lives to read”. They immediately fell in love. From their relation and spiritual and sexual, the writer takes inspiration: he transforms the produced energy in ideas for a new work. With the carrying on of the film, we understand that the woman is his muse, his inspiration: when he finished the work, she died; so Martin decided to burn all the pages and the girl appeared. Then for a period he can’t say his muse. Only in the last scene he can take off the blindfold.

    The all screenplay is constituted from the juxtaposition between the real world and the Imagination. In all the film we don’t understand (or I don’t understand) if a scene is real or imagined. Only at the end some of our doubt become revealed.

    Paul Auster makes the choice of having his characters share some parts of their name/surnames. Also there are some references to himself. An example is the choice of a writer protagonist. As in all his works, there is the presence of this kind of man. I think that it can be a link with his life of writer. The proposed characters have always an extreme and oppressing need of writing. They don’t live if they don’t write over and over again.  In “Che Tempo Che Fa” interview, Paul Auster said that he is oppressed by this continuous need of writing. He said he will feel lost if he had no a pen or a pencil with him. Writing is some like oppressive, from what a writer can’t avoid.

    Finally I want to say that I don’t understand the role of Sophie Auster, the daughter of the director and writer Paul. For me she is superfluous; she hasn’t a specific role. But maybe (or I must say certainly) I wrong, because in Paul Auster’ work every thing has a specific role.

    Monica Santi

  9. anonimo scrive:

    I confess that this is the only Auster’s film, out of the 4 we have watched, that i didn’t like. Not because of his themes that are really powerful and interesting, psychologically and literary speaking; but i can’t understand how a director could think about shooting a quite long film based only on a almost normal love story, not so involving in my opinion. I know, there is also the subject of the comparison and fusion of reality and imagination, which permeates all the most important scenes, but it’s not so catchy as in “Smoke” or in “Music of Chance” (I think the latter it’s the most striking and schocking Auster’s film, as far as psychologically issues are concerned), perhaps also because of his obscurity and difficulty of comprehension.

    But there are two things about “The Inner Life of Martin Frost” that i really appreciated:

    First, the scene where Martin dreams to be behind a locked door talking to Claire, who is on the other side of the door. So they are very close one to the other but they can’t see and touch each other. In my opinion it’s a very important scene, as it shows the little but radical distance which stands between Martin and Claire: the first is a real man, a writer who can approach the world of imagination by means of his works; whereas Claire is a muse who belongs to that unreal world and went into ours just to inspire the writer she chose as the most suitable for her. So they are very close in their minds and thoughts, but they can’t remain together as they belong to so different places. They can feel one each other, but that’s all they can do.

    Then, I love the setting of the film, the beautiful nature that surrounds the enormous mansion house where the author lives. I have to say that when i watched that scenery, that green landscape, it didn’t seem or look like new for my eyes. And I’ve just discovered why: The whole film is set in Azenhas Do Mar, a lovely village of fishermans near the historical city of Sintra, in Portugal. I’ve been there this summer!! and i drove along the same road Martin Frost covered to reach the fuel station, because that is the road that goes from some villages scattered in the luxuriant up-country, to the wild coast near Sintra and not so far from Lisboa. The vegetation and all the enviroment appeared to be very healthy, as all the area is included in a big Natural Reserve: a really wonderful place to shot a film! When i read the movie setting i was really shocked by this fact!

    Simone =D

  10. anonimo scrive:

    siincerely, for me the film was difficult to follow so i didn’t understand some scenes, for example i didn’t understand the figures of Auster’s daughter and the figure of the other man.But as Simone i appreciate the scenes where Martin and Claire talk obstructed by a door. they couldn’t see and touch each other. As Simone i think that these scenes emphasise the contrast between the reality and the imaginary world, and the distance between Martin (writer=reality) and Claire (Martin’s muse=imagination). their love could be only platonic, and since they are cultural person, they are happy and satisfied. personally, i can’t imagine a thing like that…i don’t know how explain it…well…i thing that in the reality there isn’t someone like Martin, with his experience with his muse, but at the same time there is something near to reality…i’ve thought for days about this, but i haven’t found out an answer…when i found it, i’ll let you know..=)…i’m surprise about the story of Martin Frost, because it’s different by the other films that i’ve based on the feeling and philosophy of characters and i like very much, but i have found a little difficult to understand also because a lot of things i didn’t understand for quickly english, without subtitles.

    Laura Sist

  11. anonimo scrive:

    If I hadn’t known this was an American movie, I would have said it was German…I mean, the colours, the rhythm, the face of the writer are European, not to mention the fact that the actress who plays Claire is French and the film-setting is portuguese. This can not be a coincidence (even if Auster seems to love it). Perhaps he wanted to create an intellectual atmosphere, soft and unfocused, and our culture does probably suit better this description. I would guess he chose a “French muse” because he started working as a writer in France and he translated french poetry, if I don’t mistake. Then at the very beginning of the movie we can see photographs of his family and he is always present through his narrating voice: is it a sort of autobiographical movie? Or is this movie just a sign of his egomania, as written above?

    Anyway, I think this film has got two detached parts, and the second one begins when the plumber appears on stage. I don’t like this choice, the real (and interesting) plot was already extinguished, he added an appendix and the result is a fracture, not very nice to see.

    Federica Zille

  12. anonimo scrive:

    In my opinion , Paul Auster is one of the author more self-centred in the history of literature. In the film “SMOKE”, he took only few themes from his life: the smoke, his necessity to write a Christmas tale… but in “The inner life of Martin Frost” Paul Auster tried to show the inner conflict which catches him when he writes. I consider the Paul Auster’s meta-literature a subject used too much in his works. I write it as I have already found signs of it in his books. Both, “Man in the dark” and “travels in the scriptorium” are centred around the human capacity to write; furthermore the writer is like a god, who has the power of life and death over his creatures. In conclusion, Auster wants to put himself in his works; it is legitimate for an author, but obsessive for Auster.

    Anyway “The inner life of Martin Frost” is a fairly good film, neither sublime nor particularly bad. The symbolism used by director is very simple, allowing an instinctive understanding of the film (maybe a little bit common, making the film foreseeable in some passage). The worst scene in the film is the entrance of Shopie Auster. As far as she is pretty, her appearance in the father’s film and her display of her singing ability make the film a publicity of her image.

    Nicola Truant

  13. anonimo scrive:

    I enjoyed the film because of the themes and the deep treatment of human psychology .Martin is the expression of the rationality and irrationality of all human beings at an extreme level. He is first very sceptical with Claire who ,after falling in love with him, becomes his Muse giving him inspiration but also producing in him the suspension of the rationality. Then he fall into irrational things.The plumber is so an help to make him conscious that the Muse can be reached only by closing the eyes, by suspending rationality. The protagonist is at first similar to Will Hunting, but, differently from him, does not become mad because he has not a rational mind ,but an abstract one.The fire extinguishing represents so the dying of a concrete person, of the material, of something which can not come back. The movie is slow fasten to point out the real consequences of the troubles of Martin and to make them more real and concrete. Also his dreams become concrete in their abstractness :the door ,which stands between them symbolizes the term of his perception and his incapacity to make his statements flowing. Next to deep themes there is the ironical hand of the author who gives to the movie the form of the real life of a mad in order to break the distance of the door.The scene I liked the most is the one in which Martin destroys his book in order to save the Muse,to do not let die her.

  14. anonimo scrive:

    Telling the truth, this film really affected me because of his introspected point of view and his slow pace, which contribute to create a mystical and mysterious atmosphere. The viewer is projected in a unknown protected world, which does not represent the everyday reality, but it seems like a dream. Martin Frost “accidentally” finds Claire Martin in his bed one morning, but nothing is put into the hands of Chance. In fact, during the film we would discover that Claire embodies the “Muse” which inspired the writer Martin in order to create a new novel. But while I was watching the film I have thought that the story Martin was typing was told by the images of the film; so, the love story of Martin and Claire was, in reality, the story which the writer was composing. When Claire , after having fallen ill, died, was saved by Martin, who immediately burns the pages of his just finished novel in order to make her alive. Since that moment he would never see her, but he could hug her and talk to Claire being blindfolded. One of the message I picked up from this film is that we are social animals, so we need love, we need social relationships to survive. We cannot live dedicating all our life to work or having only one objective. If we did not care our inner life, our consciousness, we would pay our mistakes.

    Carolina Braghin

  15. anonimo scrive:

    I found this movie full of references to other writers or stories and this element is really interesting. Anyway, I think this is the film I liked less, because of many reasons…. Until the first half, the movie can be seen as a metaphore of a writer’s life, centred on work and also involving a muse in the meanwhile. Love between the writer and his muse can be seen as a symbol of the author’s love for his work. But then Clair begins to feel bad and one day she disappears. In this moment the plot begins to become absurd to me… Starting from the plumber, who’s a ridiculous figure, and going on with the dreams of the main character (he dreams his lover but he can’t see and touch her). But the worst thing is the end…It really disappointed me! Paul Auster’s daughter appears and shows to the main character the way to keep in touch with his lover… But, are you kidding? It doesn’t make any sense to me! Don’t misunderstand me, I like “supernatural” films generally, but I think this one lacks of continuity and clarity. A part from that, I have a good note: I really liked Auster’s daughter and I think she sings very well! Good for her!

    Giulia Marcassa

  16. anonimo scrive:

    15 Perin Marco

  17. anonimo scrive:

    Very interesting in the movie “The Inner Life of Martin Frost” is the metaphorical and symbolic use of language. In the story, which develops between reality and imagination, Martin is the protagonist, a writer (it isn’t casual the reference to writing in Paul Auster) in search of inspiration for a new work. He meets “by chance” (another not-casual reference in Auster) a mysterious young woman, with which he established an extraordinary relationship (spiritual and physical) that proves to be an exceptional source of vital energy (then forwarded in writing). Clare, in fact, is the inspiring muse of the writer, destined to die when the work is over, but Martin manages to subvert the order of events, sacrificing his work to bring back Clare to life. From that moment, Clare becomes a presence ineffable, which can be seen only as a mirror image: this doesn’t discourage Martin, happy to have saved Clare at the expense of his work.

    The film is totally different from those seen earlier, because in this prevails the aspect of imagination and invention of an author (it is no longer a description of external events, as in “Smoke” and “Blue in the Face”, but the creation of a fictional story, in which the author has power to change the events to his will).

    Federica Cozzarin

  18. anonimo scrive:

    “The Inner Life of Martin Frost” is a very unusual movie, and also his title is not so evocative. However, I enjoyed the movie, because the story it tells is quite absurd and also a bit irrational, but it makes you believe that it is not difficult it could be true. The film analyzes the mysterious process of art in a way that is inexplicable but also incredibly clear, and at the end it seems you have understood a important truth but you cannot just remember it. I have to watch again this film to have a more precise opinion, even if we discussed a lot about it in class. There are a lot of different levels of understanding in this movie, and the only way to find them all is to watch again this movie.

    Damiano Verardo

  19. anonimo scrive:

    In my opinion in this film Paul Auster manages to convoy almost all his favourite themes. There is chance, coincidence and above all there is imagination. He has made up a movie in which real and unreal live together.

    On the one hand there is Martin Frost who is a writer and he stands for the real world. On the other hand there is Claire Martin who is the Muse of writing and she represent the world of imagination and dreams…she is essential for Martin’s work.

    At the beginning they can stay together as they were normal people and they felt in love each other, but then the Muse, Claire, can not stay anymore in the reality and she becomes invisible to Martin’s eyes. He can not see her anymore and he starts to dream her as if she was near him. He feels somehow her presence.

    It is a strange movie…Anyway I find it very interesting and fine. I liked it more than “Blue in the face ” or “Smoke”, there are lots of differences between them, first of all the setting. It was no more set in a busy city where there are only buildings around but it is set in a wanderful place, in a house surrounded by nature. There are not houses more than that of Martin and all is quite and calm. Here Martin can give himself up to the writing of his book, here he can find the right peacefulness necessary to think to his novel.

    In this film there are very few charachters and the plot , also if it is fancied, is somehow linear.

    I liked the appearance of Sophia Auster and i enjoyed the comparison between a good writer with his own wanderful Muse and a bad one with his unable Muse.

    Marson Chiara

  20. anonimo scrive:

    Serra Pierluca..

    “The Inner life of Martin Frost” is a research about the human’s psychology. The film mixes together Illusion and Imagination and gives to the spectator an impression of truth. All the film is based on the contrast and the likeness between the reality and the not-real world. Martin Frost is a man that need a transcendental help, a need that he can’t find in the reality, so Paul Auster faces once again the human mind and in this case the mind of a writer that is, of course, more complex that a common mind.

  21. anonimo scrive:

    The love of Martin Frost toward Claire is the love of the author toward his muse. I found absurd the fact that they wake up in the same bed but she didnt’ realize the night before that there was a man in her bed. Moreover the film may be seen as a metaphore of life of writer. When a writer is ina dead point he can turn his head toward his muse and he finds a new love that makes him continue his work. During the story Clare starts feeling bad, taht because Mr. Frost is near to the end of his novel. The plot becomes absurd at the end: the Auster’s daughter appears as a “deus ex machina” to resolve the author disperation. And I didn’t understand why Martin Frost before Clare disappear he can touch her and after he can’t any more. I noticed the fact that the plumber wear different clothes every day, may be he’s mad or has a psycological disfunction.

    Giulia Raineri

  22. anonimo scrive:

    Whole the film focuses on almost divine power of writing. Paul Auster believes that poetry and writing are not a simple action like many others, but thinks that poetry and writing are deeply linked with the metaphysical and the transcendent. Through poetry, the poet (and poet also mean Paul Auster because his writings are much deeper than just stories and go to investigate the state of mind and feelings) is in contact with the “noumeno”. Besides writing Paul Auster puts near the love and friendship and other values, all bound together by writing. For the writer the purpose and meaning of life are: to love, to speak, to think, to imagine and to write .

    FRAncesco MARSon

  23. anonimo scrive:

    Correction to #19 (first row): The metaphorical and symbolic use of language in “The inner life of Martin Frost” is very interesting.

    I’m sorry, I was thinking in italian…

    Federica Cozzarin

  24. anonimo scrive:

    I didn’t like the film so much, because I didn’t understand many things. On one hand I didn’t undertand some dialogues, because characters spoke too fastly. On the other hand I didn’t understand the role of the plumber, the reason why his nephew goes to live with Martin Frost and why in the end the protagonist can’t look at Claire anymore.

    There is the theme of the difference between reality and appearance. He thinks to live with a woman, he has lunch with her, he can touch her, but then she disappears and he can only speak to her. She is not real, she is a creation of his imagination that gives him the inspiration to write.

    In my opinion some scenes make the film quite stupid: the scene in which Claire laugh in an exaggerated way, or the scene in which Martin Frost runs after the wheel…

    Fortunately there were some aspects that made the film nice: the extravagant clothes the plumber wore, the fantastic scenery, the beautiful voice of Sophie Auster.

    Pietro Perin

  25. anonimo scrive:

    After watching it I thought this movie was directly inspired by Auster’s life. I mean: Martin is a writer (just like Paul), he is in crisis because he has no inspiration (come on! Every writer has their problems with inspiration!), he suddenly meets by chance (yes…it’s ever “by chance” in the movies…) a woman (a muse) that inspires him. However I found this movie better than the other two but at the same time it was more banal. A writer that loses his inspiration and finds it again thanks to a muse. Something already written, something already watched and read.

    I’m sorry for having demolished every movie you posted but I want to be sincere and clear, I really didn’t appreciate those movies. And I’m so sorry about that because I was the first with great expectations!

    Elena Poles

  26. anonimo scrive:

    “The inner life of Martin Frost” is one of the best film i have seen in the last year. I have fond some difficolulties because of the language used by the protagonist, but i found it involving and rich in figures. In this film there is the contrast between real and unreal, between wish and owe, and these contrasts take Mr Frost to change his life and hug new experiences. the symbols of which Auster makes use are very much and personal of the author : it makes the whole film a sort of autobiography. The typewriter, the house, the photographies on the wall, also his daughter are all elements of the personal life of Paul Auster.

    There are some humoristic scenes as the draw of the screwdrivers, or the pneumatic that bumpes into Martin’s face, these make the film more pleasant.

    thank you for the opportunity! and sorry for the late!

    Matteo Cervesato

  27. anonimo scrive:

    It’s amaizing the way Paul Auster was able to create a story, and then to adapt it into a film, that swirls and swings between the border of reality and immagination. At the beginning of the film all is quite nd still,actually everything is too calm, there is a soothing and everlasting tranquillity, that is enhanced even by the peacefull beauty of nature. Then suddenly a woman comes in the country house where Martin Frost decided to retire for some days of vacation, and she pretends to be the niece of the owner of the house. There is something strange about her, but for sure you will never say that at the end of the film she will come up to be his muse, a work of immagination, a spirit, present only in his mind. And that’s the point. Where is the border between immagination and reality? Is the film only a dream? Does the protagonist realize that what’s happening is just a work of immagination, or is he definitly convinced that what’s happening corrisponds to the truth? Is the woman a real person or just a spirit? Does she appear only in his dreams or does he have allucinations?

    Let’s say that at the end of the film we are able to distinguish tha the film can be divided into 2 parts: the true reality, and when immagination starts; where can we say that the first part finishes and begins the second one? There’s a blurry border between reality and immagination. And I think Paul Auster is convinced that this happens even in everyday life.

    Even this film is different from the ordinary american film we normally watch, it is even more pshycological and intellectual than the oders, and it has to be watched carefully.

    Chiara Pinardi

  28. anonimo scrive:

    If we watch the film “The Inner Life of Martin Frost” we must read it as a metaphor. An autobiographical, or existential metaphor; it is the story of a writer, -that can be Paul Auster: the photos at Martin’s home show Auster’s family- and of his idea of writing as a form of art, but it can also be seen as a small cycle of life: art (in this case writing) is the result of human energy that derives from the emotional coexistence, from love; so art is the central point of life, is the complete expression of the true essence of the human being.

    Even in this movie we can find the concept of fate and destiny, which creates unpredictable situations that shape lives permanently. The element of dream in this film is very strong: nothing is as it seems and the more obvious things have behind them a strong symbolic meaning. The human psyche sometimes creates a parallel reality that creates in us what we seek outside: Claire is a projection of what Martin wants for his personal and professional life, she is the stimulus that life -and destiny- gives him to regain what he has lost. He becomes again a writer, he is again a man with the power and the desire to imagine, dream and create something that is different from reality. He finds in Jim Fortunato’s ward a noble spirit, and Fortunato represents the mere reality, the resignation that mortifies life and eclipses art (his ward). Although Fortunato writes too, he does not believe in art, he not feels a sudden and terribly strong need to write, create, he does it for narcissism, as a hobby. He has only artistic ambitions that seem ridiculous in comparison to the true Art. The true Art is an elusive art, that lives only in few people, like Martin, who see behind things and understand the essence of Being, without seeing only appearence, without believing only in things that can be seen (Claire exists, but you can’t see her) People who believe in in the power of talismans (the typewriter) not because of a superstition, but because for them they become really instruments of creation. Art in Martin Frost is not an abstract concept: art is Life.

    Raggiotto Francesco

  29. anonimo scrive:

    ‘The inner life of Martin Frost’ is the movie that I most appreciate even if while I was watching it I didn’t understand all themes. It is about the story of a writer (Martin Frost) who wants to have respite after 3 year writing jag. Suddenly a morning he wakes up beside a woman whose last name is the writer first.

    She is his muse but at first he doesn’t know that. They have long philosophical discussion (she is studying philosophy).

    Martin is writing a short story and when he is near to finish it, the girl gets ill. Martin understands that the only way to keep her alive is to destroy the short story and he does that. But the Muse can’t survive so she suddenly disappears. Martin tries to search her uselessly. He knows Michael Imperioli who writes for hobby and his muse (whose last name is Imperioli’s first, of course). Imperioli’s muse starts to live with the writer and helps him in housework. She sees Martin’s muse who appears in the house: Martin can have his muse back but he can see her only through a mirror.

    In this film there are many references to other films like ‘Ghost’.

    There is a particular feature of each muse; she has for last name the first name of the writer; this is because the muse is part of the artist.

    Sometimes in the film we can see the typewrites spinning in black voids in a hypnotic way. I think this is because Martin Frost is obsessed of writing as also Paul Auster said in some of his interviews.

    Paul Auster attends in this film in two ways: at the beginning we can see some of his pictures in the house as he were the owner of the house, and he is the voice over; so he is not only the director and screenwriter but also he takes part in the film.

    To cut a long story short I found very interesting the way the story is developed and the intertextual connection of the film.

    Federica Battistin

  30. anonimo scrive:

    Luca Gasparin

    I think that this film is very profound because it enters in the soul of people. At the beginning it could be difficult to understand because it is centred on abstracts concepts, but in the end everything is disclose.

    Among the four films “The inner life of Martin Frost” is the one that I prefer, because it expounds all the problems that a writer could have when he has to write a story. Although the theme of an inspirer Muse is a classic theme, I think that this kind of representation is something nearer to our days and our way of thinking. Another quality of this film is the strange power of love that overcomes the desire of money and success that Martin could have reached if he had sold his book.

  31. anonimo scrive:

    This movie is so rich in under plot meanings that you may lose the wholeness of the film.

    I think that Auster quotes so many myths and previous literate and tries to fill the film with inner explorations that only him can fully understand what he create.

    Anyway even if you understand only a bit you can percept the main theme: the sacrifice and the fight of Martin to keep real his muse.

    The scene I love the most is when Micheal the plumber leaves his own young muse to Martin that tries to take care of her. For me it means that everyone has his muse but you have to love her and not to treat her badly in order to follow her inspiration, so you have to follow and cultivate your capabilities for being good in what you do.

    Of course the themes of chance and chaos (in this case is all a little bit less accidentally) are always knocking the door to get in the film and direct it … so Auster.

    About the DVD menu design, I think it’s very appropriate because letter and words creates shapes as Claire, the muse, is build with the unwritten words of Martin, the author.

    Francesca Cazorzi

  32. anonimo scrive:

    I didn’t understand immediately the film; for me it was also difficult to watch. I found the film static; the setting is nice, but there is too much silence; it gives the idea of being in a parallel world where there are only Martin, Claire, Anna James and Fortunato.

    The theme is writing. In the film the spectator enters in the life of the writer (Martin) and gets in touch with a new world.

    I don’t know, I liked the theme,but not the film. It sounds a bit contradictory,but I think that. I can’t explain this…I appreciate the discussion after the film because it make me more clear the film and because I found interesting other people’s lifestyles,but perhaps Auster could have rendered that in a different way,with a film with less tranquillity.

    Very interesting was Martin’s relationship with his muse,very very rich in love and passion.

    Giulia Canzi

  33. anonimo scrive:

    At the beginning of the film “The inner life of Martin Frost” i hadn’t immediatly undestand the role of Claire.But when i saw that the woman was dying when Martin Frost was finishing the book i had understand that she was a sort of “ispirer muse” that gives the inspiration to the man.Then i support my idea with the adjective “inner” present in the title.When i read the title i immediatly thought that in the film there would be something spiritual.

    Martin Frost searched constantly Claire in their mind,during his dreams.He constantly searched the inspiration that creates new idea in his mind and that makes him live.According to my idea,writing for Martin Frost is a source of happiness,inner peacefulness and serenity.Claire is the symbol of that qualities.

    Denise Martin

  34. anonimo scrive:


    I found this film very strange and complex. I did not like it very much. It was a mix of classic and modern themes. The muse and the book, love and death.

    I like the DVD menu, it highlights the main words, point and scenes in this film.

  35. anonimo scrive:

    This film has a nice and interesting plot. At the very beginning I was not sure of the role of the woman. I’ve suspected the girl has something to do with the inner part of the writer, not only because of the title. But as soon as the role of Claire acquired a deeply meaning, i realized she was a muse, HIS MUSE!

    I think two are the most important scenes; the first one is when Claire became sick, too cloose to death, and he decided to burn his latest novel to give her life again, at this very moment he understands she is more than a simple woman.

    Then in the second scene, Auster underlines the importance of the muse and the necessity of ”carpe diem” because nothing lasts for ever, even the inspiration. So, on the way to the hospital a tyre of Martin’s car has a puncture and he is forced to walk down to the first garage asking for help. He leaves Claire in the car, who has just asked him if he was sure of leaving her there alone. Subsequently she runs away in the wood and Martin feels himself alone, without his muse, and he is not able to go on writing. But at the end of the film the muse/Claire comes back, that means that inspiration sometimes is temporary away but at the end it turns back, we do not get demoralized because we don’t achieve our best, everything will be good again.

    ..carla cipolla..

  36. anonimo scrive:

    The inner life of Martin Frost is emblematic because it explains the origins of inspiration and imagination of an artist.At the beginning of the movie we can see a writer who needs to isolate in a room and stay hours and hours in front of a typewriter to focus and find the inspiration.then he meets a girl,Clair Martin, who at the end of the film turns out to be the muse of the writing,he falls in love with her they stay in contact with nature they read laugh and talk together and he begins to write uninterruptedly.In my opinion through these scenes Paul Auster wants to make the audience understand that inspiration comes from emotions feeling and passions,it’s like a falling in love the artist has to leave the rational part of his mind and let feelings surround him and overwhelm him.i think that even if the actors the setting and the cues were not so involving,the movie has a deep meaning,it shows the essence of the creativity of an artist.but there ere some doubts that hummer the girl only the result of an imagination process,or is she a real human being?does Auster believe that imagination is fed by a spirit that only artists can perceive or is the muse just an invention to depict the features of inspiration?

    Montrasio Valentina

  37. anonimo scrive:

    I have found the film quite pretentious and incoherent: all the plot is bizarre, the story is wacky and I think that important themes as the exploration of human consciousness and the analysis of our deeper thoughts can’t be polluted with nonsensical and incongruous sketches and contaminated with continuous and harassing “philosophical” references. The idea from which is based the film is doubtless very interesting but also very delicate. As we can understand from the title, the film develops in the line that exist between the real and the unreal, between the events and our most intimate thoughts, our “inner life”. In this case the inner life is the one of Martin Frost, a writer which meet and fall in love with Clair, the woman that embodies the “muse” which inspire him in order to write his masterpiece. Newly Aster plumps into a story which is surely interesting but first of all ambitious and too much self – centred (the story of Martin is the story of Paul, the story of the complex, intricate and elaborate mind of a writer).

    Alessandro Piccin

  38. anonimo scrive:

    What I like about this film is the setting, the background music and Auster’s voice-over narration.. This last feature in particular struck me: his voice is moving, calm, reassuring. I think the author is the only person who can properly play this role in the film and without his participation I would have certainly found “The Inner Life of Martin Frost” absurd. I absolutely didn’t like the figure of Claire, nor the actress, neither the role played by her: she’s a dominating woman, she submits Martin who, at the beginning tries to keep far from this garrulous and annoying woman but finally is dominated by her. She becomes even more important than his last work, this first short story after a three-year writing jag which he burns as soon as he discovers her life and the completion of the story are tightly connected. Here begins a new part of of the story in which appear other characters (even Auster’s daughter Sophie) and it is characterized by a continuous alternation between reality and fiction/imagination which protracts itself till the end of the film.. A happy-ending? I don’t think so!

    –Maiutto Jessica–

  39. anonimo scrive:

    The Inner Life of Martin Frost is one of those films that at the end leave me with tons of questions; still today I’ve no answers for all those questions!

    The beginning is quite interesting but a little bit absurd: Martin Frost and Clear Martin weak up in the same bed but they don’t know each other; immediately there are lots of coincidence, fundamental Auster’ s characteristic , like the name of the novelist and the surname of the woman, both are Martin! Than their relationship with the owner of the wonderful house surrounded by flourishing nature! The setting is very pleasant but gives to the story an oneiric dimension: places, voices, music seems to belong to an unreal world, maybe to give the idea of a spiritual world where we can see the inner life of martin frost! .. this is my personal view of this emblematic film where a simple situation develops in one deeper, quite metaphysical! Where the woman take the shape of a muse! A muse that gives birth to Martin’s novels!…Clear is indispensable for Martin, so that he sacrifices his novel in order to save his muse’ s life ; from their meeting come a deep connection between the two, that neither their separation could possibly break up!.

    Even if he can’t see her anymore he can feel her presence.

    There are lots of themes in this film such as love, life and death, writing and imagination , but I’m not able to find a link between all themes of the film and above all I didn’t like the end of the film that is too much false and unreal! And doesn’t give the story a coherent end!

    –Martina Nadal–

  40. anonimo scrive:

    As soon as i read the title:”The inner life of Martin Frost” i understand that this is a spiritual film.

    The main character,Martin Frost, is a writer and decides to go in a peaceful place where he can find his new inspiration for his new book. For a strange coincidence a beautiful woman,Claire, appears to him in the hause as a GHOST.They fall in love and with the love that he feels for her he finds inspiration.

    The woman is his muse and he can write only if she remains alive. In fact when Martin Frost finishes his book she dies by the cold, but he is immediately ready to burn his masterpiece to mantain his muse alive.


  41. anonimo scrive:

    From the title you can guess that ‘The inner life of Martin Frost’ is a spiritual film, very silent, because the word ‘inner’ makes me think of something intimate, something private, that you don’t share with other people. In fact I noticed that at the beginning until the mechanic (I think it was) comes on scene, Martin and his muse are the only ones you see on screen. From the first time you see Claire, you immediately understand that she is not a common woman; she speaks in a low voice, almost whispering, she is always sweet and kind, but you cannot say what makes her a strange character.

    It seems that the setting belongs to a parallel world, not to a real dimention: it is immersed in a beautiful, quiet and calm nature, everything is too silent to be real.

    The outlines of the characters aren’t defined, and this gives an oniric dimention to the whole story.

    At the end of the film I came to the conclusion that this events couldn’t possibly happen in the real world: Claire isn’t a real person, but Martin’s inspiration, the special thing that makes him put the words in a poetic way, a quality that only writers have.

    Jana Stefani

  42. anonimo scrive:

    Well, this film left me quite indifferent, if I weren’t been told I probably wouldn’t never understand the plot of it. Since the two previous film liked me, I was very positive about this film, but by the end of the it I was a little bit disappointed. First of all it started as a normal film but then it turns into a fantastic film, but in my opinion it was too fantastic for the context in which it was. Then this love story between the two, who met just a minute before! It was too unreal and too mawkish. Then the scene when Martin burns his book to make Claire resurrect, the point when the watcher (unfortunately not me) is supposed to understand the whole plot, totally shocked me because I thought I was watching a rational film, from now on it becomes more and more irrational. For these and other reasons I didn’t like this film.

    Riccardo Bagattin.

  43. PaulAuster2008 scrive:

    And some of you don’t believe in coincidences??? Have you read Simone’s post! Paul Auster would be smiling now (or smirking or sneering) if he read it.

    Some of you are irritated by Paul Auster self-referentiality (e.g. Nicola), others find it alluring. So really different resposes. Francesco’s comments on the film are really to the point, I liked them.

    Francesca’s point as to the intertextual references and to the manu design are to be read and shared, in my opinion.