Céline and Julie Go Boating, dir. Jacques Rivette, France 1974, 193 min., French with English subtitles, 12A
Jacques Rivette’s biggest hit is an exhilarating combination of theatricality, paranoia and la vie parisienne, all wrapped up in an extended and entrancing examination of the nature of filmmaking and film-watching.
Céline (Juliet Berto), a magician, and Julie (Dominique Labourier), a librarian, meet in Montmartre and wind up sharing the same flat, bed, fiancé, clothes, identity and imagination. Thanks to a magic sweet, they soon find themselves spectators and then participants in a Henry James-inspired ‘film-within-a-film’ – an unfolding melodrama in a mysterious suburban house populated by the ‘Phantom Ladies Over Paris’ (Bulle Ogier and Marie-France Pisier), a sinister man (Barbet Schroeder) and his child.
Acknowledged by director Susan Seidelman as a huge influence on Desperately Seeking Susan, Céline and Julie Go Boating has a freewheeling, playful spirit that never tires.
This screening is part of Film Feels Curious, a UK-wide cinema season supported by the National Lottery and BFI Film Audience Network – and also featuring this ICA screening of rarely seen short films curated by the London Short Film Festival and Zodiac Film Club. Explore all films and events here
Sun, 31 Jul 2022
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