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  • Celine and Julie Go Boating [VHS]
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Celine and Julie Go Boating [VHS]

22 customer reviews


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Product Details

  • Actors: Juliet Berto, Dominique Labourier, Bulle Ogier, Marie-France Pisier, Barbet Schroeder
  • Directors: Jacques Rivette
  • Writers: Juliet Berto, Dominique Labourier, Bulle Ogier, Marie-France Pisier, Jacques Rivette
  • Format: Color, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: French
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Number of tapes: 2
  • Studio: New Yorker Video
  • VHS Release Date: November 11, 1998
  • Run Time: 193 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 1567301193
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,777 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Celine and Julie Go Boating VHS

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By findkeep@eburg.com on May 30, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Halfway through CELINE AND JULIE GO BOATING my opening line for this review would have been something like this; "a drawn out, poorly photographed mish-mash of uninspired surrealistic images. However, gradually as the film drew me further into its unescapable web, I began to realize that the films images weren't uninspired, they were simply detached, in the logic of a dream. True to that statement, CELINE AND JULIE is the most realistic demonstration of a dream state I have ever witnessed. It is drawn out, but it's also meditative, not to mention fascinating, and strangely, as in dreams, realistic. Gradually you don't notice the irrationality, like a dream you simply feed off its aestheics. And as the "swiss cheese" plot begins to fill in, your excitment grows as you long for a better understanding. Now, Freuds will no doubt aply their psuedo-symbolism to a film such as CELINE AND JULIE, I myself find it to be a film about a search for inner childhood (notice the "haunted house" plot is the womens attempts to rescue a small girl). It is a film that demonstrates the way imagination gives our lives a needed purpose.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By albemuth on December 22, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Jacques Rivette has always been a director of rather acquired taste but if you have an open mind and are willing to let the amazing imagery flow over you, seeing this film will literally be like stepping through the looking glass. It is as close to actual magic, not just illusions, as I've seen on the big screen. Despite its length, and this is true of most of Rivette's films, the film is enchanting and entertaining, puzzling but also audacious in its invention. It runs on dream logic and you need not crack it in order to enjoy it. The events flow forward, backward, sometimes repeating themselves as the characters appear to be caught in some bizarre web, reminding me of some of the later Bunuel films where they are trapped in an unending dinner party or go in search of food yet never accomplishing to eat it - but unlike Bunuel, Rivette's film is more of a play on itself than poking fun at the bourgeoisie, breaking down the nature of film (its reality, a la Philip K. Dick) and the art of cinema.
In any event, with perhaps the exception of "La Belle Noiseuse", a classic of more accessible and traditional nature, this film is the best way of entering Rivette's body of work. And if you just allow it, you'll be trapped within for good. It's a good place to be.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By William Shriver on August 20, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I can't stop evangelizing for this movie. In the U.S., it has a couple of heavyweight critics who continue to champion it, but for reasons given below, it doesn't seem likely to get the credit it deserves any time soon. That is no reason not to see it.

Since I have previously commented on the all-French version of this film (before BFI picked it up), I'll limit my comments to the BFI package on offer here. If you're interested in the literary sources for the film, go to Celine and Julie Go Boating [Region 2], and you'll find the fruits of my research there.

First, this is a gorgeous, beautifully saturated rendering of the 16mm (!) full-frame original. On the minus side, BFI has kept the same miserably inadequate subtitles that have appeared on all prior film and VHS versions. Without some knowledge of French, you'd never know that this is a wonderful melange of nonsense words, rhymed parodic verse, street slang and (whenever we enter the mysterious house) Alexandrine blank verse, such as is found in Classical French Theatre. There will also be times when people are talking and no subtitles at all are given.

This is most detrimental to the beginning of the film: the scene in the library, the Mad Tea Party, the discussion of practical magic . . . these things take up about an hour, and could begin to feel irrelevant. They are not. I'm begging you--stay with this! If I may say this about one of the finest films ever made: subtitles be damned, the last ¾ of the movie is an absolute hoot!

As for the double-disc BFI package: hmm. Disc 2 has a dry recounting of Rivette's career by a Jonathan Romney, plus a short by Alain Resnais (!?) and a 2 min.
Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Galina on July 12, 2006
Format: VHS Tape
Praised by the critics as "delicate , mysterious, and exiting", "an original and entertaining metaphor for film-watching and, perhaps, film history", and named "The most radical and delightful narrative film since Citizen Kane! The experience of a lifetime" by New York's critic David Thompson, "Celine and Julie Go Boating" (1974) is all of the above but first of all it is incredible fun to watch. This magic candy of a movie tells the story (or rather plays with the story) of two friends, Julie, a librarian and Celine, a magician. The film starts one sunny summer day in Paris when Julie follows running through the park and losing her stuff all over (a scarf, a shoe...) Celine exactly like another girl in the English country side one sunny summer day had followed a White Rabbit into a world of her imagination. Two girls became friends and soon with the help of a magic memory-inducing candy, they both will be the observers and participants in a bizarre soap-opera like drama that takes place in a mysterious house. It involves two stunningly beautiful women, a blonde and a brunette, who are in love with the same man. The man is a widower with a young daughter who had promised his wife that he would not remarry as long as their daughter is alive. When the blonde and the brunette become desperate enough to try to do something about the situation, it is up to Julie and Celine to come up with the plan and to rescue the young girl. Will they go boating? Well, you will have to stay with them for all 193 minutes to find out. Yes, Rivette takes his time but his movie never seems slow or boring. Playful yet complicated, mad and funny, "Celine and Julie" is a magic movie. It grabbed me from the opening scene - which is of course the opening chapter of "Alice in Wonderland" - and it never let go. Buniel would love this movie, I think. It also reminds me of "Mullholand Dr" and even "Persona" but in the absolutely different mode. Simply DELIGHTFUL.
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