1069 Céline and Julie Go Boating

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therewillbeblus
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Re: 1069 Céline and Julie Go Boating

#26 Post by therewillbeblus » Sun Feb 21, 2021 8:29 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 8:27 pm
Noiretirc wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:35 pm
the...er...Truncated Quartet.
Not sure what you are referring to...
I just assumed Gang of Four

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 1069 Céline and Julie Go Boating

#27 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sun Feb 21, 2021 8:33 pm

therewillbeblus wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 8:29 pm
I just assumed Gang of Four
Well, it could also be Duelle, Noroît , etc....

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Re: 1069 Céline and Julie Go Boating

#28 Post by Noiretirc » Sun Feb 21, 2021 8:39 pm

My understanding is that Duelle and Noroit were two of a planned four-film concept, which fell apart due to exhaustion. Merry-Go-Round is some sort of coda....I think.

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Re: 1069 Céline and Julie Go Boating

#29 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sun Feb 21, 2021 8:54 pm

Marie and Julien (in an earlier version) was also supposed to be part of that "set". (And it's one of my very favorite Rivette films). ;-)

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Re: 1069 Céline and Julie Go Boating

#30 Post by Noiretirc » Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:13 pm

Better 27 years late than never. I never did find out if Rivette himself felt that he did indeed complete the tetralogy.

This CAJGB must be a 2-disc job, right?

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Re: 1069 Céline and Julie Go Boating

#31 Post by yoloswegmaster » Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:27 pm

Yep, this will be a 2 disc release. Having never seen a Rivette film before, would this be a good place to start?

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senseabove
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Re: 1069 Céline and Julie Go Boating

#32 Post by senseabove » Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:00 pm

I've admittedly still got about half of his filmography to go, but imho it's THE place to start with Rivette. It's playful, intimate, and mysterious in more straightforward ways, which makes his penchant for paranoia and mysticism feel less bewildering than in his other works in this style/era, although it still prepares you for those less forgiving features by giving you a feel for how he builds "plots" around those obsessions. Something like Joan or La Belle Noiseuse is probably easier to digest than CAJGB, which is still a wonderfully unwieldy thing, but I think those get richer when you see how he works his usual themes into their more straightforward narrative.

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Re: 1069 Céline and Julie Go Boating

#33 Post by soundchaser » Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:12 pm

Yes, I’d second senseabove’s recommendation. This is a lot of Rivette’s favorite tropes (chance, hidden spaces, theatricality, female friendships) in a relatively convenient package. There’s a reason it’s just most commonly-cited film, even if it’s not my personal favorite.

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Re: 1069 Céline and Julie Go Boating

#34 Post by therewillbeblus » Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:29 pm

My recommendation will always be to start with his first and best feature, Paris Belongs to Us, but I think its self-seriousness leanings in tone clarify the passion behind his themes and sets the stage for these more playful works in a very welcome way. Either one isn't a wrong route to travel, though personally while I enjoyed it alright the first time, I had to acclimate to the depths of Celine and Julie's magic over several viewings following a more expansive consumption of Rivette's oeuvre. I realize that's not necessarily the norm- nor is it to cite Paris as the best- but unless you're like me and have no issue repeat-viewing 3+ hour films, I'd save this for later when you may appreciate it more fully in context. That's just my experience though.

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Re: 1069 Céline and Julie Go Boating

#35 Post by yoloswegmaster » Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:35 pm

Your recommendation is very well thought out and I seriously thank you for it but I will have to pass on it, solely for the fact that I find myself having trouble watching 3+ hour films (I just recently watched a 3+ hour film for the first time in over a year!). I've been rather reluctant to get into the works of Rivette, mainly because of my preconception that his films are very complex and experimental which leads to my wariness of not being able to comprehend it in a meaningful way.

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Re: 1069 Céline and Julie Go Boating

#36 Post by soundchaser » Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:42 pm

I don’t think his films are particularly hard to get involved in, narratively. They’re not as fragmented/experimental (in a structural sense) as something like Weekend. Their difficulty comes in large part from their length and their deliberate ambiguity. Rivette doesn’t necessarily want you to comprehend things in a meaningful way — mystery is part of his aim.

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Re: 1069 Céline and Julie Go Boating

#37 Post by therewillbeblus » Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:49 pm

Yoloswegmaster, I don’t think I was clear then.. my point was that if you’re not the kind of person who would watch this film and then watch it again in hindsight with context, it may be worth saving it for after you watch some shorter Rivette and get into the groove. So by that logic you’d wait and take the recommendation. Now, his films aren’t short to begin with, so either way you’re gonna need to budge on that aversion to length, but it’s worth it.

Now that I know more about your hesitancy for long films, I’ll change my stance, join the chorus, and say watch this first- I’d hate for you to dislike Paris or other Rivettes and delay or write off this widely beloved -and rightfully so- film as a result, even if I personally still think Paris is the best entry point.

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Re: 1069 Céline and Julie Go Boating

#38 Post by Shrew » Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:54 pm

I think Celine and Julie goes by very fast for a 3-hour film--at least after the first hour or so, which is very loose and deliberately lacking in any sort of plot. Personally, I find this film a lot easier to get into than most of the other Rivette films I've seen, but I just hooked quickly into its themes (playing with structure and narrative) and literary references (Alice in Wonderland, Henry James, etc). I think I also like it because it offers the classic Rivette structure of a MacGuffiny mystery slowly unraveling as random threads are pulled with less of the conspiratorial angle found in other works (Paris Belongs to Us, Out 1, Pont du Nord).

That said, I think either the La belle noiseuse or The Duchess of Langeais (Touchez pas la hache) was my first Rivette. The former is a good, accessible starting point, minus the whole 4 hours part of it.

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knives
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Re: 1069 Céline and Julie Go Boating

#39 Post by knives » Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:57 pm

This makes a lot of sense as a first one given how it is the first for many people.

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Re: 1069 Céline and Julie Go Boating

#40 Post by Glowingwabbit » Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:10 am

I would echo what soundchaser said. Celine and Julie is such a playful film that I don't think it's necessary to comprehend what's happening. That's actually part of the fun in my opinion. Although I will admit that following the plot or comprehending it is not something I'm interested in.

If I didn't know the runtimes I would think Celine and Julie was a shorter film than Paris Belong to Us which I found to be denser and harder film to ger into. It was my first Rivette and it took me awhile after to finally get around to looking at the rest of his filmography.

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Re: 1069 Céline and Julie Go Boating

#41 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:16 am

I love Celine and Julie now -- but not until the 3rd or so viewing. Whereas I liked Va Savoir and Gang of Four and Secret defense and (most of all) Pont du Nord the first time I saw these.

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Re: 1069 Céline and Julie Go Boating

#42 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:16 am

knives wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:57 pm
This makes a lot of sense as a first one given how it is the first for many people.
Is it really? I feel like it’s been hard to track down at least stateside in a legal way for a long time. There’s definitely a worthy cult around it here, but outside of this forum most people I know in the U.S. who have seen a Rivette have seen those with stateside releases (La Belle Noiseuse is a big one, even Out 1 which was on Netflix). Thankfully that’s about to change though.

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Re: 1069 Céline and Julie Go Boating

#43 Post by knives » Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:20 am

That's kind of a recencey bias as for a long time the only Rivette around was the BFI for this and some low quality DVDs for some more obscure films like Gang of Four. I know when I was first getting into film not long ago the VHS for this one was the only Rivette I could find.

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Re: 1069 Céline and Julie Go Boating

#44 Post by swo17 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:27 am

Yep, VHS from the library for me too (like 10 years ago)

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therewillbeblus
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Re: 1069 Céline and Julie Go Boating

#45 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:30 am

Interesting, I went through a bunch of Rivette through lib DVDs and legal online resources in I think the earlier part of last decade, but struggled to hunt down a copy of this one for a few years after.
Michael Kerpan wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:16 am
I love Celine and Julie now -- but not until the 3rd or so viewing. Whereas I liked Va Savoir and Gang of Four and Secret defense and (most of all) Pont du Nord the first time I saw these.
I’m with you Michael on the gradual love for this one vs others. I also love Secret Defense but always recommend it as a later Rivette because the ending plays so counter to Rivette’s entire conspiratorial mystery ethos of anti-catharsis, becoming a mainstream film that we unexpectedly have normal cinematic expectations met in a terrific self-reflexive gag that only works on that level after seeing a solid chunk of his work.

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Re: 1069 Céline and Julie Go Boating

#46 Post by senseabove » Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:36 am

I'll echo the negative experience of Paris being my first Rivette: I turned it off about halfway through and it turned me off Rivette for a long while. MUBI some while later showed Duelle and Noroit, and the former's wonderfully insane primordial fantasy noir is what brought me back around. But as others have said, Celine & Julie's playfulness is what makes it so much more digestible. The typical (for the first half of Rivette's career), overwhelming sense of having no idea what's going on, and even less an idea of whether you're supposed to, is mitigated by just how much fun it is to watch Celine & Julie conspiring together.

And while I'd rate everything up through Merry-Go-Round, except C&J, lower than everything that I've seen from after it, I think my appreciation for the latter is greatly increased by having seen the earlier films first, and so being able to see how Rivette worked those overt obsessions from the first half of his career in more subtle and complicated ways. For example, I can't imagine appreciating the second half of Joan the Maid in the same way without that familiarity with Rivette's early obsessions. So I'd argue that the second half of Rivette's career is worth a shot even if C&J doesn't click, but that C&J is still the best place to start.

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Re: 1069 Céline and Julie Go Boating

#47 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:53 am

All things considered, I'd actually say Pont du Nord might be the very best Rivette film to start with -- with its exploration of (mostly now-vanished) hidden spots of Paris and the marvelous interplay between Bulle and Pascale Ogier. But maybe I'm biased because I adore Bulle Ogier so much (and ditto obscure corners of Paris).
(And it's comparatively short).

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Re: 1069 Céline and Julie Go Boating

#48 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:37 am

Michael Kerpan wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:53 am
All things considered, I'd actually say Pont du Nord might be the very best Rivette film to start with -- with its exploration of (mostly now-vanished) hidden spots of Paris and the marvelous interplay between Bulle and Pascale Ogier. But maybe I'm biased because I adore Bulle Ogier so much (and ditto obscure corners of Paris).
(And it's comparatively short).
It was actually the first Rivette film I saw. I liked it (grew to love it after I picked up the MoC release), and for someone new to Rivette, it's probably easier to process than his other earlier masterworks. But I don't think I'd single it out as his best work, and I was much more impressed by the next one I saw, L'Amour fou, which convinced me to track down the others.

Paris felt underwhelming after those two and Céline and Julie, but I now love it, it just needed to sink in that it was a much earlier film - I want to say it's best seen next to its immediate contemporaries to put it in the proper context.

Céline and Julie and Out 1 wound up being immense fun, the latter surprisingly so because of its darker elements, but as I wrote before it has a hilariously anticlimactic punchline.

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Re: 1069 Céline and Julie Go Boating

#49 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:05 am

Pont is MY personal favorite -- but the reason I think it is a good starter is that it sort of eases one into Rivette's style -- sort of a kinder, (somewhat) gentler version of Paris Belongs to Us. (And it is less likely to seem "underwhelming" if seen first, rather than after).

L'amour fou and Out 1 are amazing -- but I would never want to introduce anyone to Rivette with either of these. I am personally glad our family started with Va Savoir -- seen at a theater (even though many folks seem to consider it "minor").

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Re: 1069 Céline and Julie Go Boating

#50 Post by zedz » Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:03 pm

Va Savoir strikes me a great starting point. It ticks all the Rivette thematic and stylistic boxes but is whimsical and accessible. Possibly his most out-and-out charming film (which doesn't make it minor in my view).

But I'd always advocate for Celine and Julie, which is a whirlwind of creativity and delight and attains that deep immersion in mania which is Rivette's most singular and addictive quality.

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