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CELINE AND JULIE GO BOATING

Director: JACQUES RIVETTE

FRANCE • 1974 • SUBTITLED • COLOUR • 192 MIN • NEW 35MM PRINT.


The film that brought him his biggest audience, Celine and Julie is Jacques Rivette’s most successful combination of the themes of theatricality, paranoia and la vie parisienne, all wrapped up in an extended and entrancing examination of the nature of film-making (and film watching). Celine and Julie meet by chance (perhaps not for the first time) and soon, thanks to a magic sweet, find themselves spectators, then participants, in a melodrama unfolding in a mysterious suburban house, the wonderfully named 7 bis, rue du Nadir aux Pommes. There is always a text somewhere within a Rivette text, and the events in the house are taken from two stories by Henry James. But the atmosphere (often explicitly) is more Lewis Carroll, with Juliet Berto and Dominique Labourier as its twin Alices. The opening pursuit of Celine (Berto) by Julie (the wonderfully earnest Labourier) is the most luminous example of the director’s love affair with Paris and the whole thing is 192 minutes of pure joy.—Nick Roddick.

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