Céline and Julie Go Boating

Director: Jacques Rivette
Year Released: 1974
Rating: 3.0

Behold, the Ralph Wiggum of Infamous Art Films! A librarian interested in magic teams up with a stage magician for role swapping, girl talk and home invasion - the latter leads them on a psychedelic journey into a surreal ghost story/stage play in which a little girl ends up murdered and Céline and Julie (taking turns playing the girl's nurse) need to solve the crime. Though a little too flaky for my tastes, this is still a playful and intricate work with clever references to Henry James and Lewis Carroll, old movies and soap opera. It's highly experimental and not the easiest film to take in - a second viewing seems mandatory to piece together some strands - though it is a rewarding experience for the adventurous viewer, a kind of avant-garde sleep-over party with feminist overtones. To paraphrase lil' Ralphie, "Oh boy, candy! That makes me space out!"