Céline and Julie Go Boating

Rivette's best-known film is an elaborate fairy tale with its literary roots in Lewis Carroll, Henry James, and Borges; its filmic roots are in Méliès, Marienbad, and Laurel and Hardy. In a film-within-a-film structure, memory and fantasy stretch an encounter between a librarian, Julie (Dominique Labourier), and a magician, Céline (Juliet Berto), into the past and the future, while never leaving the present. More whimsical, but no less labyrinthine, than Paris Belongs to Us, the story involves a White Rabbit chase through Montmartre, a mysterious old house in the Paris suburbs, and strange potions in the form of little candies placed on the tongue. In the house, a haunting melodrama involving Bulle Ogier and Barbet Schroeder is being played out. Can Céline and Julie intervene to change the plot? A film that has retained its cult status even until now, Céline and Julie invites repeat viewings. It's the little candies.
.—Judy Bloch

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