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Humanities 2018, 7(4), 114;

The Flesh Made Word: Bodily Inscription and Religion in Celine et Julie Vont en Bateau

Centre for Film and Screen, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1TN, UK
Received: 18 September 2018 / Revised: 22 October 2018 / Accepted: 5 November 2018 / Published: 9 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Anatomy of Inscription)
PDF [243 KB, uploaded 9 November 2018]


In Celine et Julie Vont en Bateau Jacques Rivette works through his discomfort with the theological function of the author, a discomfort stemming from the material effects of authorship on the bodies of his actors. Examples of bodily incision and bruising proliferate throughout the film, part of a process of violent characterization imposed by an authoring demiurge. The film explores several methods of escape from this process, starting with exotic travel and fairy tales, but culminates around repeated allusions to the crucifixion of Christ. The film advances a heretical Christology by positing God as a sadistic author and the wounded body of Christ as the paradigmatic example of being inscribed as a character against one’s will. As this characterization obviously engenders being inscribed in a narrative as well, the structure of the film probes at the notion of both Christianity and narrative cinema as means of escape. View Full-Text
Keywords: Rivette; Christianity; Artaud; inscription; the body; spectatorship Rivette; Christianity; Artaud; inscription; the body; spectatorship
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Taylor, M. The Flesh Made Word: Bodily Inscription and Religion in Celine et Julie Vont en Bateau. Humanities 2018, 7, 114.

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