Archive for November 1st, 2009

time regained 1

(France 1999 155m) DVD1/2

Aka. Le Temps Retrouvé

Magic Lantern of Memory

p  Paulo Branco  d  Raoul Ruiz  w  Raoul Ruiz, Gilles Tourand  novel  “Remembrances of Things Past” by Marcel Proust  ph  Ricardo Aronovich  ed  Denise de Casabianca  m  Jorge Arriagada  art  Bruno Beauge  cos  Gabriella Pescucci, Caroline de Vivaise

Catherine Deneuve (Odette), Emmanuelle Béart (Gilberte de Saint-Loup), John Malkovich (Baron de Charlus), Marcello Mazzarella (Marcel Proust), Vincent Perez (Morel), Pascal Greggory (Saint-Loup), Chiara Mastroianni (Albertine), Marie-France Pisier (Mme.Verderin), Edith Scob (Oriane, Duchess de Guermantes), Georges du Fresne (young Marcel), Bernard Patraut (Charles Swann), Arielle Dombasle, Elsa Zylberstein, Christian Vadim, Patrice Chereau (voice of Proust),

When I first came to watch Raoul Ruiz’s spectacular version of Proust, one couldn’t help recall two things to mind – most importantly whether it would be more successful in adapting the last portion of Proust’s legendary magnum opus to the screen than Volker Schlöndorff had been with the first part in Swann in Love in 1983.  Not that Swann was without its compensations, with its gorgeous photography, period trappings and fine performances from Jeremy Irons, Ornella Muti and, particularly, Alain Delon.  Even so, it was a shadow of the original, superbly recreating the time and place but capturing little of the work’s subtlety or rhythm.  One cannot help also recalling, however, on a more facetious note, that wonderful Python sketch, the All England Summarising Proust Competition, in which various Proust devotees try to encapsulate in one minute the intricacies of Proust’s masterpiece.  To many Python fans it will have been a baffling skit, but to those who knew Proust one could sympathise.

            Lying on his deathbed, author Marcel Proust tries to gather his recollections together to form his masterpiece, and thinks back over his childhood and the loves of his life; the vacuous aristocrat Oriane, the social climbing courtesan Odette de Crécy, her delicate and unhappily married daughter Gilberte and, last but not least, the eternally elusive Albertine, who haunts him in death as she did in life.  As he looks back he tries to give his life meaning, while all the time trying to justify the actions of those he knew and loved, comparing their fortunes with his own. (more…)


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