I blurbed the underdog masterpiece of French New Wave, Jacques Rivette’s Celine and Julie Go Boating. 1 week run in LA, starting June 8th. There’s so much to say about the film: it’s a surreptitiously feminist, impossibly stylish, 3 hours long, conceptually ambitious, yet super easy to watch. And those actresses.
Like a Borges story swathed in a silk kimono, the maze-like turns of the epic-length Céline and Julie Go Boating are so welcomingly sensual, you’ll be just as likely to laze in the film’s warm beauty as you will be to decipher its Byzantine puzzles. Librarian Julie (Dominique Labourier) and cabaret magician Céline (Godard regular Juliet Berto) are the mysteriously linked protagonists who spontaneously form a friendship, one that rivals Daisies for playful absurdity and Mulholland Dr. for alternate dimensions. The other realm in question here is the psychodrama of a Parisian household from a bygone era, revealed to the duo in fragmented film-within-a-film memories brought on by magical candies. Director Jacques Rivette’s 1974 exploration of the nature of narrative is the most mischievously immersive of the French New Wave, casually bending our perceptions of both time and space even as it keeps us fully aware of its richly-rendered world. Céline and Julie Go Boating was Rivette’s biggest commercial hit in France, yet remains sadly unreleased on DVD in this country, so seize the chance to catch this master stroke of whimsy and wonderment on the big screen! Brand-new 35mm print!