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Feature Friday: “Celine and Julie Go Boating” (1974)

What a surprise to find this up at YouTube! Although less and less surprises me these days.

How to describe Celine and Julie Go Boating, other than “one of the greatest films ever made”?

Two women, Celine and Julie, a magician and a librarian, bond over a shared interest in magic and the occult. Together they discover one of the weirdest haunted houses in all of cinema, a mansion in which a Henry James novel is being eternally reenacted. Celine and Julie can enter the house, which will expel them after a few hours with no memory of what’s going on inside. But when they eat a magic candy, they start to remember what they witnessed…

It’s funny and cool and sexy and more than a little spooky.

It’s inspired in part by Lewis Carroll, and was partial inspiration for Desperately Seeking Susan (1985).

Also, it’s one of the greatest films ever made.

Celine and Julie Go Boating (Céline et Julie vont en bateau – Phantom Ladies Over Paris) (1974)

Directed by Jacques Rivette. Starring Juliet Berto, Dominique Labourier, Bulle Ogier, Marie-France Pisier, and Barbet Schroeder.

(You can turn on English subtitles through the CC button. There are Czech subtitles, too!)

  • A. D. Jameson is the author of five books, most recently I FIND YOUR LACK OF FAITH DISTURBING: STAR WARS AND THE TRIUMPH OF GEEK CULTURE and CINEMAPS: AN ATLAS OF 35 GREAT MOVIES (with artist Andrew DeGraff). Last May, he received his Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the Program for Writers at UIC.

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