“The film is about space, both literal and imaginative—over three hours, the space for the viewer to take a holiday from adulthood, as Céline and Julie do, and rediscover the infantile but empowering pleasures of "irresponsible" fiction-making.”
Drawing on literary references that include not only Alice in Wonderland, but also the work of Henry James and Marcel Proust, Celine and Julie is a truly singular phantasmagorical epic that has dazzled critics and filmmakers alike, and has gained cult status amongst cinephiles in the forty years since its making. Rivette worked with actresses Julie Berto and Dominique Labourier to invent a narrative so unruly and euphoric that it barely yields to description.
The two partners in crime perform vaudeville and magic in Paris nightclubs, swap identities, and play endless tricks. When they swallow transportative lollies and are placed inside a 19th-century aristocrat’s house, they attempt to solve a sinister crime and save a child from death. The film is both a glorious testament to imagination and a curious record of 1970s Parisian life.
Alena Lodkina, season co-curator and director of There is No Such Thing as a Jellyfish, will introduce her film. Michelle Carey, Artistic Director of Melbourne International Film Festival, will introduce Celine and Julie Go Boating.