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Sunday, July 01, 2007
Celine and Julie Vont en Bateau...

After a weekend spent in a stupor, doing nothing but watching movies and eating popcorn, I can firmly say that Celine and Julie Go Boating is one of my favourite films. Directed by Jacques Rivette, it stars Juliet Berto and Dominique Labourier as two friends (Celine, who works as a magician in a small club and Julie, who is a librarian) who find themselves strangely embroiled in a surreal parallel world via a mysterious house in a Parisian suburb that they take turns to go into. In the house, they 'become' nurses to a young child in the house, and they have to keep replaying through the same day in order to progress further and learn more about the people living there and what is going on. Their friendship starts bizarrely but develops in an amusing and natural way. The runtime is about 3 and a half hours so you need a little bit of patience to watch it but it's worth it. The first time I saw it, I was so completely hypnotised by their strange lives and antics, I bought it the next day, and Julie Berto and Dominque Labourier are just so perfect in it.
The film is also strangely inspiring style-wise, despite being made in the 1970's which I often think of as the decade that fashion forgot. If you get a chance, you should give it chance, even if you're not a fan of Rivette or French new-wave cinema. Just don't watch it on a bright summer's day. This film was made for drawn curtains, rainy weather, and no distractions.

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