Anne Goupil is a literature student in Paris in 1957. Her elder brother, Pierre, takes her to a friend's party where the guests include Philip Kaufman, an expatriate American escaping ... See full summary »
In eighteenth-century France a girl (Suzanne Simonin) is forced against her will to take vows as a nun. Three mothers superior (Madame de Moni, Sister Sainte-Christine, and Madame de ... See full summary »
Julien lives alone with his cat. He dreams of Marie, and a few minutes later, he sees her on the street and makes a date. He asks her to move in with him, and she does. Her boyfriend is ... See full summary »
A play within a play within a play within a play. Actors perform a play in a house, an audience member invites them to work in his own home improvising a play around his own life. The line between fiction and reality blur.
A lonely widowed housewife does her daily chores, takes care of her apartment where she lives with her teenage son, and turns the occasional trick to make ends meet. However, something happens that changes her safe routine.
A mysteriously linked pair of young women find their daily lives preempted by a strange boudoir melodrama that plays itself out in a hallucinatory parallel reality.Written by
David Watson <email@example.com>
It is a misconception that most of the film was improvised by the actors. Jacques Rivette provided structure but did not let his actors "go wild", instead he let them write. A single scene was improvised, where Celine, played by Julie Berto, brags to her associates about her rich American friend. The rest of the scenes where shot from scripted material, mostly thanks to participating actors. The film is collaboration by several authors, including actors Berto, Labourier, Ogier and Pisier. Rivette's involvement in the writing was to give structure to all the contributions, tightening things up. See more »
I saw "Céline et Julie vont en bateau" a few years after watching "3 Women" and Claudia Weill's "Girlfriends." The next day I saw it again, and then again and again... This was a time when I was very interested in the depiction of modern women in films: some were quite original and revealing, and this was indeed one of them, dealing with the creative process, and women's imagination. Made in 1974, it had a similar origin as that of "3 Women", in which the female cast (Juliet Berto, Dominique Labourier, Bulle Ogier, and Marie-France Pisier) worked with director Rivette and writer Eduardo de Gregorio on the script. It is also a story of female bonding and solidarity, but instead of relying on dreams, it uses magic and literary sources, Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" being the first to come to mind. Librarian Julie (Labourier) becomes intrigued by weird rabbit-like magician Céline (Berto), but soon one is after the other. They become friends (or sort of) and exchange roles in each other's life, but nobody seems to notice the difference. Then Céline reveals she frequently goes inside an old house where a melodrama is repeated on and on (based on Henry James' "The Romance of Certain Old Clothes" and "The Other House"), enacted by two women (Ogier, Pisier) who are both in love with a very pale man (filmmaker Barbet Schroeder.) In the old house there is also a little girl (Nathalie Asnar) who is in danger, so Céline and Julie become the "phantom ladies" of the title (including Fantômas outfits) to rescue her. This post-modern movie is a puzzle, and the audience is intellectually involved in the making. Critics went crazy and called it "the most important film made since 'Citizen Kane'." I don't know if it is, but I love it: it is funny, demanding, entertaining, and sometimes boring, in the best tradition of Satie's repetitive "Vexations". Reworked as "Desperately Seeking Susan", without acknowledging it.
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