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Friday, April 29, 2016

Celine et Julie Vont En Bateau (aka Celine And Julie Go Boating) (1974)

A young woman (Dominique Labourier) is sitting on a park bench when she spots a woman (Juliet Berto) walking at a frantic pace while slowly dropping articles from her person. She follows the stranger and like Alice following the White Rabbit down the hole soon finds herself in a parallel Wonderland. Jacques Rivette's 3 hours plus film may seem at times an incomprehensible fantasy but if you stick with it, you'll be rewarded with a rich surrealistic adventure. Don't attempt to place restrictive narrative principles on it but just go with it. The movie lends itself to a variety of interpretations (if you must) and magic, felines, wordplay, death, childhood memory, interactive imaginations etc. are only a part of many thematic weapons one could use to try and project "meaning" onto the film. The first half of the film is dominated by Labourier and Berto while the second half of the film focuses on the mysterious mansion where two women (Bulle Ogier, Marie France Pisier) attempt to seduce a widower (Barbet Schroeder) while a child's (Nathalie Asnar) life hangs in the balance.

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