The Year of Reading Proust discussion

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message 1: by Kirk (new)

Kirk McElhearn It seems to me that a discussion of Proust on film would be useful. Unfortunately, there have been no good films about Proust or La recherche. The most successful in my opinion is still the Jeremy Irons Swann, from 1984. There was an interesting film about Proust's last days, Céleste, by Percy Adlon, in 1980, that captured Proust's life fairly well.

Last year, on French television, there was a two-part TV movie, called A la recherche du temps perdu, that was, in my opinion, a fiasco. While it did portray the time fairly well, the actor who played Marcel/the narrator looked very much like Mr Bean, and at one point, the expression of stupidity on his face had me in stitches. It also attempted to compress too much in too short a time.


message 2: by Joshua (new)

Joshua Mostafa (joshuamostafa) Has anyone seen Raul Ruiz's Time Regained ?


message 3: by Andreea (last edited Sep 16, 2012 01:27AM) (new)

Andreea (andyyy) Joshua wrote: "Has anyone seen Raul Ruiz's
Time Regained
?"


I saw it last year. I enjoyed it, I remember thinking that John Malkovich is a very convincing Charlus, although Catherine Deneuve as Odette is a bit boring. It's more a collage than an adaptation, though, the film selects important episodes from the novel and puts them together (very beautifully), but if you don't know the plot of the whole novel it can be a bit confusing.


message 4: by Jim (new)

Jim I haven't watched this all the way through, but this is a British special on How Proust Can Change Your Life

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9dwwV...


message 5: by David (new)

David | 41 comments Ralph Fiennes is an interesting choice to play Proust.

Proust's interview with the diplomat sends my mind down a curious channel: Proust dropped into a corporate setting as a management consultant.


message 6: by Nick (new)

Nick Wellings | 322 comments I would like to second any praise for Ruiz's take on Proust. It will most likely baffle non Proustians, and the description of it as a collage is accurate: the scene with the dancing spires is quaint and nicely handled. I have read that that final scene which I found deeply moving, was directly lifted from another film (It may have been a Visconti film or a Thimas Mann adaptation...) Regardless, I liked it a lot. I kept remarking to myself how alarmingly Proust-y the lead actor looked. Literally uncanny.

I haven't yet got round to Swann in Love.

I didn't get very far with Chantal Akerman's La Captive, mainly because I was watching a terrible copy of it culled from YouTube as the Artificial Eye version was unavailable to me. What little I did see was promising, and intriguing. The conceit (modern day rich couple) seemed sound.

I'll refrain from posting about Python's Proust only to say instead that for me the perfect Proust on film would always be Pinter's, if only because in having just the screenplay, we are free to populate and conjure and invent the particularises in our minds. Rather than taking issue with this or that actor, we have instead what is to my mind perfection: the guide of drama, coloured by the intensity of our imaginings.


message 7: by Nick (last edited Oct 21, 2012 11:47AM) (new)

Nick Wellings | 322 comments I came across this today:

http://vimeopro.com/francetvdistribut...

Video is of "In Search of Lost Time" TV mini series directed by Nina Companeez for French TV, shown in 2010. 2 hours long, approx 3 episodes running seamlessly.

Video has English subtitles. Quite a few reviews said the show is mainly just "OK" and some say it is bad.

I watched the above video and thought it was OK.

(Editing is a bit ropey. Some parts quite funny, and I would echo praise given to the actor playing Charlus.)

However, rather maddeningly, the video is only the first half. Total thing is 4hr long. The second half seems unavailable to view online. The show omits Swann's Way in toto. The video starts right at Balbec/Budding Grove (so no need to wonder what happened to a Combray episode, as there isn't one) all of Guermantes Way and a little bit of Sodom and Gomorrah before ending on credits.

Parental/prude advisory: there are naked breats in certain parts. Companeez doesn't shy away from that aspect of Proust.

Thought it might be a nice way of killing 2 hours of time for some members here :)

I will keep an eye out for the second part, as one reviewer said they found the last ten minutes quite emotional.


message 8: by Nick (new)

Nick Wellings | 322 comments I re-watched Time Regained again on Sunday (I had the happy circumstance to find a copy online, apologies to the makers and those rightly keen on their royalties for my piracy.)

SPOILERS:



On my first watching a few years back, I wept freely at the delightful ending scene.

On this viewing, not so much, but I did tear up a little again. If anything I was more perplexed at some bits than with my first viewing! The moving scenery/actors grated on me a little this time, the mannerly bits (statues/faces in stone) jarred me.






END SPOILERS (yes I could tag 'em!)

Regardless, on both viewings, I was left with the impression of Marcello Mazzarella as an actor gifted with some rare genius (at least for being Proust). My first time watching I recall shaking my head basically thinking "this man is Proust reborn...! Astonishing!" and being quite agog. The likeness is quite eerie. He is the right height and look. More than that though, the man he can act like a mofo. Even the mere act of his SITTING seems perfect (the scene where he waits in the drawing room to be called into the party). It seems so fin de siecle, so "socialite" and refined. Plus small mannerisms such as how he giggles (and then a second later, his face flashes despair and exasperation at being imprisoned in this poisonous soiree.) I have nothing but praise for his portrayal of Proust.


message 9: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Based on the book Monsieur Proust, there is a German film which I have not seen:

http://www.amazon.de/Céleste-Eva-Matt...


message 10: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Kalliope wrote: "Based on the book Monsieur Proust, there is a German film which I have not seen:

http://www.amazon.de/Céleste-Eva-Matt..."


On this film:

http://www.nytimes.com/1982/10/06/mov...


message 11: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Proustitute wrote: "Yesterday's Guardian chooses 10 of the best film adaptations of novels.

Raoul Ruiz's Time Regained makes the list:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/galler......"


Has anybody seen it?


message 12: by Nick (last edited Dec 02, 2012 11:42AM) (new)

Nick Wellings | 322 comments I have...(read a few posts up but careful of the spoiler tags :))

I um...acquired a copy without purchasing it...as it is hard to find.

It is a bizarre film. I also saw the same article Proustitute posted and thought "Whaa?" when I saw it was mentioned. This bit about it showing "boredom (or perhaps ennui) without succumbing to being boring." is a bit strange. It doesn't attempt to show boredom at all. Obviously a rushed job by a sub-editor trying to make an article :P


message 13: by Kalliope, Priestess of Proust (new)

Kalliope | 2929 comments Mod
Nick wrote: "I have...(read a few posts up but careful of the spoiler tags :))

I um...acquired a copy without purchasing it...as it is hard to find.

It is a bizarre film. I also saw the same article Proustitu..."


Thank you...I will stay away..

My guess is that it would have to be approached as a TV series with several seasons...!!!


message 14: by Nick (new)

Nick Wellings | 322 comments Well, as an adaptation of Time Regained, which is really all it is, it is OK. I would say that we you've finished Time Regained, (this time next year nearly?) then you can give it a watch!

As I said above, I did cry after watching it the first time as the ending scene is touching.

Unsure if even a multi season TV show would succeed! On the surface it would, but there's so much of Proust that is beyond all appearances. Proust's belief was that so much of life lay beyond and outside life. How could you ever show that in a TV show? Very difficult.

As it stands though, I do think the Proust screenplay would be a really good film.


message 15: by Cassian (new)

Cassian Russell | 36 comments I have seen the Ruiz Temps retrouvé and find it quite enjoyable: beautifully cast and quite evocative. The ending is strange, but works, perhaps (I am still not completely convinced of this) as a cinematic parallel to Proust's close. But it captures Proust in a way that Un Amour de Swann does not -- although it is a solid rendering of the section. I, too, would love to see the Pinter screenplay on the screen.


message 16: by Marcelita (new)

Marcelita Swann | 1135 comments Nick wrote: "I came across this today:

http://vimeopro.com/francetvdistribut...

Video is of "In Search of Lost Time" TV mini series directed by Nina Companeez for French TV, shown in 20..."


Nick, "... maddeningly..." it was, when I realized we were only going to be able to watch the worse Marcel in Part 1, which was shown on the on French television. The second night has been...hide and seek. I hope to track down, at least, a French version in June. I will add it to my "scavenger" list.


message 17: by Dipanjan (new)

Dipanjan Maitra | 3 comments There's also the documentary 'Marcel Proust: A Writer's Life' available with French dubbing on YouTube as 'Marcel Proust: Une vie d'écrivain'.It features interviews of important Proust scholars.
Could anyone tell me if Percy Adlon's film is on DVD?


message 18: by Nick (new)

Nick Wellings | 322 comments I have the sanem question, Dipanjan, as I have only ever seen it on VHS. I guess someone could get the VHS and convert it by using a conversion company if they had no VHS player.


message 19: by Marcelita (last edited Jan 14, 2013 10:09AM) (new)

Marcelita Swann | 1135 comments Dipanjan wrote: "There's also the documentary 'Marcel Proust: A Writer's Life' available with French dubbing on YouTube as 'Marcel Proust: Une vie d'écrivain'.It features interviews of important Proust scholars.
Co..."


You can buy the real English version of 'Marcel Proust: A Writer's Life" here: http://stonelanternfilms.org/proust.html


message 20: by Marcelita (new)

Marcelita Swann | 1135 comments 3Degrees of separation:
"Fortuny & the Magic Lantern"

http://www.catalanfilmsdb.cat/en/prod...


message 21: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (goodreadscompatricia2) | 370 comments There are several ISOLT films on You Tube.


ReemK10 (Paper Pills) | 1025 comments Canadian professor discovers what could be only footage of Marcel Proust


https://www.theguardian.com/books/201...


message 23: by Lee (new)

Lee Paris | 2 comments Fascinating. He's certainly surrounded by his kind of people. It would have pleased Marcel that, of all the possible times he could have been captured on camera, it was at this swanky event that his live action was preserved for posterity.


ReemK10 (Paper Pills) | 1025 comments hey Lee, I later read this article: NYTimes: Is This Really Marcel Proust in a Movie?
Is This Really Marcel Proust in a Movie? https://nyti.ms/2lmOt0z


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