Sunday, June 5, 2011

There Seems to Be a Boat

So, we couldn't watch Celine and Julie Go Boating as explained a bit earlier so what says 1001 Books?

First: "English-speaking viewers will never taste the real flavor of this film." Hooray! We MUST watch it but we won't get it. Sounds fun. Maybe there should be subsections: "You Must Watch this Film if you Speak X as a First Language."

The book continues, "It starts with the title, which means nothing but, in its original version and for French-speaking people, opens wide the doors toward tales, jokes, and children's stories." Super. So, why exactly does this "You" whom I imagine, again, is largely English speaking, need to watch a film full of inside jokes from the 21st most populous country in the world (thanks CIA World Factbook)? I'm not saying we shouldn't watch foreign films in foreign languages. Far from it. But, if the film doesn't translate to another audience, it's not effective to that unintended audience and as a part of that unintended audience I think I may safely die without having seen it.

Ok. So English speakers won't get it and it's full of inside jokes. Further, "Celine and Julie Go Boating is a password into a realm where sinuous roads travel the fringe between the exterior world and intimate dreams, between present and past, between reality and fiction." And then there is an Alice in Wonderland parallel made and blah blah blah "magic."

So, more or less, the French people on the panel (or more likely those on the panel who like to think themselves French savvy) added this one to the list.

I did find a video titled "Celine and Julie Go Boating, In 15 Minutes" that does at least answer the boating question but I get the idea that we may be lucky to have skipped this one because I'm betting the 178 other minutes don't so much explain anything. 


  1. Interesting. Makes me think . . . is there a similar film that would play in America but wouldn't be understood anywhere else? For some reason, Old School comes to mind.

  2. Ha! I bet Old School works because everyone else thinks America is one big frat party anyway. I don't know, though . . .