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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

(aka 'Celine and Julie Go Boating' or 'Phantom Ladies Over Paris')

Directed by Jacques Rivette
France 1974

 

Rivette's rarely seen yet biggest commercial hit, is an exhilarating combination of the themes of theatricality, paranoia and la vie Parisienne, all wrapped up in an extended and entrancing examination of the nature of filmmaking, and film-watching.


Celine (Juliet Berto), a magician, and Julie (Dominique Labourier), a Librarian, meet in Montmartre and wind up sharing the same flat, bed, finance, clothes, identity and imagination. Soon, thanks to a magic sweet, they find themselves spectators, then participants, in a Henry James-inspired 'film-within-the-film' - a melodrama unfolding in a mysterious suburban house with the 'Phantom Ladies Over Paris' (Bulle Ogier and Marie-France Pisier), a sinister man (Barbet Schroeder) and his child. The atmosphere, however, is more Lewis Carroll, with Juliet Berto and Dominique Labourier as twin Alices. The four main actresses improvised their own dialogue in collaboration with Rivette and scriptwriter Eduardo de Gregorio.

Acknowledged by director Susan Seidelman as a huge influence on her own hit film Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), Celine and Julie Go Boating was Rivette's greatest commercial and critical success - its freewheeling, playful spirit still capturing the imagination of new audiences today.

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 1974

Reviews                                                                       More Reviews                                                        DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

BFI Video (2-disc) - Region 2- PAL vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

Distribution BFI Video - Region 2 - PAL BFI Video
Region B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 3:05:36  3:13:33.493
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.57 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.37:1

Disc Size: 43,374,875,767 bytes

Feature Size: 35,816,232,344 bytes

Total Bitrate: 27.49 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio French (Dolby Digital 2.0)  LPCM Audio French 2312 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: BFI Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

Disc 2
• Introduction by Jonathan Romney on Rivette and Celine and Julie Go Boating (18:32)
• Toute la memoire du monde (Alan Resnais, 1956, 20 mins, English subtitles)
• The Haunted Curiosity Shop ( R W Paul, 1901, 2 mins, silent)
• Illustrated booklet including a review by Tom Milne; interviews with Dominique Labourier, Juliet Berto and Jacques Rivette; Susan Seidelman's reflections on her Rivette-inspired Desperately Seeking Susan; director biography.  

DVD Release Date: September 25th, 2006

Transparent double standard Keep Case
Chapters: 15

Release Information:
Studio:
BFI

 

1.37:1

Disc Size: 43,374,875,767 bytes

Feature Size: 35,816,232,344 bytes

Total Bitrate: 27.49 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

 

Edition Details:

• A newly commissioned feature length commentary by film scholar Adrian Martin

•  Introduction by Jonathan Romney on Rivette and Celine and Julie Go Boating (19:17)

• Toute la memoire du monde (Alan Resnais, 1956, 21:54, English subtitles)

• The Haunted Curiosity Shop ( R W Paul, 1901, 1:55, silent)

Fully illustrated booklet with an essay by Jonathan Rosenbaum, a review by Tom Milne; interviews with Dominique Labourier, Juliet Berto and Jacques Rivette; and Susan Seidelman's reflections on her Rivette-inspired Desperately Seeking Susan; and full film credits
 

Blu-ray Release Date: November 20th, 2017
Transparent Blu-ray Case inside

Chapters  

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray (October 2017): The new BFI transfer is easily in advance of their 2006 DVD. Colors shift and are richer, contrast superior and there is more information in the frame. Film texture is fine and lush - looking extremely film-like. The resulting HD, 1080P image is gorgeous in-motion. 

For the audio BFI use a linear PCM advancing the score by Jean-Marie Sénia - his first of almost 200 film compositions. The uncompressed sound has more depth - there are optional English subtitles on the Region 'B'-locked Blu-ray.

The Adrian Martin commentary is extensive discussing a wide range of topics including content represented as a pretext or an alibi, Commedia dell'arte, surrealism, Vera Chytilová's Daisies, the extensive 'child's play' of the film, Lynch's Mulholland Drive referencing the relationships of Celine and Julie Go Boating, what other critics thought; Robin Wood, Jonathan Rosenbaum etc. It's excellent and, personally, a highly important part in further appreciating Rivette's film. The rest of the supplements are duplicated from BFI's DVD - the 20-minute introduction by Jonathan Romney on Rivette and Celine and Julie Go Boating, Resnais' Toute la memoire du monde and R W Paul's silent The Haunted Curiosity Shop. The package has a fully illustrated booklet with an essay by Jonathan Rosenbaum, a review by Tom Milne; interviews with Dominique Labourier, Juliet Berto and Jacques Rivette; and Susan Seidelman's reflections on her Rivette-inspired Desperately Seeking Susan; and full film credits.

Many world cinephiles see this, as much of Rivette's oevure, as part of cinema's holy grail - a magical surrealist adventure - and with the Martin commentary - makes this Blu-ray essential. Our highest recommendation!

***

ON THE DVD: Following its release on a new print by BFI Distribution in May 2006, during the major Jacques Rivette retrospective at the NFT, BFI Video have released his magical 70s favorite Céline and Julie Go Boating onto a dual layered, progressive DVD with a 2nd disc of extras. It looks better than I was anticipating. Sharpness is as good as the restored source as are colors which are a shade dull. Certainly for a limited production (although his greatest commercial success) made over 30 years ago - this looks very good. Subtitles are competently rendered and audio, although understandably weaker than state-of-the-art, is clear and consistent enough to enjoy the magic.

BFI have added a 2nd disc (single-layered - only 2.66 Gig - less than 45 minutes) which was a nice gesture, but content is slightly lacking. The, roughly, 18 minutes of Jonathan Romney - called an 'Introduction' - is quite good. He discusses how Rivette is so un-categorize-able as well as giving a brief history of his work and personal tastes and how his cinema relates to art. It really is just an 'introduction' of such an interesting and enigmatic director. He also begins an explanation of Celine and Julie...   I enjoyed his voice (British accent flawlessly pronouncing occasional French) and his rather brisk pace. With the film being over 3 hours this isn't a bad replacement for a commentary - although I'd have preferred his comments to go on much longer. Also included is Resnais' 20-minute short Toute la memoire du monde (All the World's Memory) which I had never seen - very intense and artsy, but genuinely enjoyable. There is a 2 minute silent film from 1901 - called The Haunted Curiosity Shop - keeping pace with the enchanting mystery element of Celine and Julie... The included liner notes booklet has been bound with care - there are a lot of color photos and an essay by Tom Milne and interview with Rivette.

Overall, BFI should be commended for bringing this film to the digital light as fans have waited for years. Outside of Criterion, this is as good as it was going to get. I think they did a great job and the DVD ranks among the 'essential' for cinema fans everywhere. 

Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus


 

Disc 2


 

BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
 

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample

1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


Box Cover

Distribution BFI Video - Region 2 - PAL BFI Video
Region B' - Blu-ray




 

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