Celine and Julie go boating

Jaques Rivette’s film from 1974 has always been one of my top 10 favourite movies.
At 192 minutes it is not for the impatient or faint hearted, and it has a surreal charm running through it. It is ultimately a playful story of two women who become friends and after consuming some magic candy they find a house where four ghostly figures act like in a parallel movie. They sit there watching themselves within the other story, even changing into each other in a split second while talking to a man in the other story.
It’s a delectably surreal exploration of two women’s friendship and spontaneous freedom.
Rivette encouraged his actors to partially improvise, but not to the extent like in the legendary “Out1″ experiment, shot in 1971 and its duration of 13 hours. The danger with complete improvisation like in ‘Out 1” always was that it became self indulgent and chaotic, though I still admire that monster of an audacious undertaking.
Anyway: here is an introduction by Mark Kermode to this wonderful and charming 1974 film, which is available now in a remastered BFI Blue Ray disc.