Le Temps Retrouvé

Dir: Raul Ruiz
Star: Catherine Deneuve, Emmanuelle Beart, Marcello Mazzarella, John Malkovich,

Even to the more intellectual film-goer, Marcel Proust is probably better known through Monty Python's famous "Summarise Proust" game-show than through any actual knowledge of him. At least the makers know few are going to challenge their adaptation, since I know of no-one who has actually read all of his 16-volume monster of minutely-drawn character detail, "A la recherche du temps perdu". And on the basis of this film, I won't be rushing to buy the collected works, though one has to admire what looks like a brave stab at filming the unfilmable: a dying writer reviews his life and loves, scenes, eras and characters drifting in and out and intermingling like fragments of half-remembered dreams.

This leads to a severe deficiency on the coherence front, and keeping track of it all for 155 minutes is more a chore than a pleasure, despite the presence of Deneuve, Beart and Malkovich. Better to sit back and watch some arresting imagery, as one sequence melts into another; for instance, the sound of tea being stirred triggers memories of a train journey. These visual flashes of brilliance help counter the narcolepsy induced by some very talky scenes; if your cinema is even slightly warm or stuffy, it may not be enough...


Hard to summarize this one
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