Proust’s great novel on several screens, united by ambition and doomed to failure

The French author Marcel Proust’s novel “In Search of Lost Time” is generally regarded as one of the most important European novels published in the twentieth century, and is often placed in one place with European novels such as “Ulysses” by James Joyce, “Mrs. Dalloway” by Virginia Woolf and “The Man” Without Attributes “by Robert Moselle because it is one of the works that established the modernity of fiction in modern times, because Proust’s novel is a well-styled novel that is deeply belongs to the art of fiction in its deepest and most difficult details, it has over the decades and since its appearance at the beginning of the twentieth century gained a reputation as difficult to not only translate from French into other languages, but even difficult to translate into other forms of Creativity, especially the art of film and television (moving pictures), especially because it works mainly on language from the stream of consciousness.However, there have always been several attempts by large and sometimes less talented filmmakers to film it, but the efforts were rarely made, not only to succeed, but even to see the light of day. Perhaps, with respect to the past decades, we can stop not delving further into modern history, at efforts that bore the signatures of filmmakers who were no less important to the seventh art than Proust was to the art of the novel. .

In front of the blocked wall

From Luchino Visconti to Joseph Luzai, and from Alain Resnais to the play Ariane Mnuchkin, who was once seduced by the idea of ​​starring Proust in particular, by the great English playwright Peter Brooke, to Louis Mall, each of whom has films tried to get close to that novel, but they went quickly. One of them finds himself in front of a cul-de-sac, and most of them abandon the project, while Brock hands over his copy of it to Volker Schlöndorff, who indeed considers a film no one cares about and to the point of boredom a literary classic will become a book that achieved some literary success before being forgotten, and so the result was that the novel “In Search of Lost Time” remained difficult to reach. the big screen, and then the small screen too. But as soon as the first century of filmmaking came to an end, followed by the beginning of the twenty-first century, a radical change took place that appeared seemingly without introductions.

Happy Quote Years

Of course, we do not know if this is related to what happened between the film worlds and the great fictional literature during those “blessed” years that passed between the centenary of the birth of filmmaking (1996) and the birth of the third millennium. But what can be noticed is that those few years, which do not exceed half a dozen years, were in any case a great boom in the art of filmmaking, and in its passengers a flourishing of film quotes of different currents and styles of great novels , some of which were considered difficult to film. So the Russian Alexei German made a film based on a novel by Joseph Brodsky, the Italian Bellocchio made a tape about “The Prince of Haburg” by von Kleist and the Frenchman Benoit Jacob made a work about the Japanese Yukio Mishima, and the Mexican. Arturo Epstein made a film about Marquez’s novel “Love in the Time of Cholera” (before quoting two films about Naguib Mahfouz, Portugal’s de Oliveira “The Message” about Madame de Lafayette, the then young Frenchman, Leos Carax ” Paula X “.” About Herman Melville, and even Sean Bean made his movie “The Testament” about the Swiss Friedrich Dornmatt … It was, in short, years of wonderful movement. It was not possible for Marcel’s literature without hummus out of it. provided that talented filmmakers capable of renewing to the maximum limits could invent film languages ​​that would save the Proustian work from its long film sleep.The Schlöndorff Project, which inherited Peter Brook’s effort in 1984 and more equal, set aside.ambitious than it can handle.

Hundreds of actors and writers

Be that as it may, we can say here that the first attempt that sealed the twentieth century to appear in more recent times as a new opening for the art of filmmaking dates back to 1999 with the signature of the French director of Chilean origin, Raul to bear. Royth, whose film we are talking about here, will be “Time Reclaimed” One of the best attempts, truly cinematic, to take the Prussian adventure from a truly cinematic perspective. Here, in almost three amazing visual hours full of renewal, Royth brought about one hundred and fifty great actors, actresses, writers and writers, from Catherine Deneuve to Emmanuel Pierre, through the master of the new French novel, Alain Robe Griet, to moving in front of his camera looking into the depths of their souls as the depths of the text of a part Only from Proust’s novel is the second part of the first part, entitled “The Restored Time”, where the narrator Charles Swan, who is on the bed of illness and in the highest degrees of despair and failure, relives his memories with his beloved Odette Gracie, while dozens of other characters live with him or without him dancing in his imagination As if the whole game, in this innovative film work, revolves around the cinema in which memories become a metaphor for it and a visual game that penetrates it.

So much as Royth dived into this part of Proust’s novel, he simultaneously dived into his relationship with films, as he achieved that golden comparison to combine the language of literature and the language of the image, just as Kurosawa the Japanese before him in his quote “King Lear”, and Francis Ford The American Coppola in his quote, in his film “Doomsday Now” Conrad’s novel “In the Heart of Darkness”, which is always considered before him as the most difficult novel for filming is, and it was logical for Royth to say that in his work on “Time Restored” he adopted the contractor of Proust’s novel instead. and revealed a creative secret that was welcomed by critics.

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From the big screen to the small

It is clear that with this film, as well as this statement / explanation, Royth was able to pave the way for two cinematographers, the first of which is the Belgian Chantal Ackermann and the second of the French, Nina Campanis, so that each of them will in turn ‘ embarking on a successful Proustian quotation adventure, even though the adventure of Campanis came on television rather than in the movie. But when Chantal Ackermann made another text by Proust in 2000 and 2001 that could somehow be considered part of “In Search of Lost Time”, and she realized a dream in which she often stated that he was with flanking her. for a long time, even though she knew her work on it did not amount to the difficulty of the work her French / Chilean colleague went through, mimicking what she did with what the American John Heston did when he did not. could not experience Joyce’s “Ulysses” investigation, so he replaced it with a movie, which was great anyway, about one of Joyce’s stories in his Dublin people, which is “The Dead”. He had her play for his daughter Angelica. And the film Ackermann we are talking about here is “The Captive”, adapted from a text of the same title by Proust.

But those who have always wondered what prevents television with its temporary freedom, as opposed to the limited film time, from approaching Proust’s entire novel, finally came the famous cinematographer and screenwriter Nina Campanis, companion of the late director Michel Deville, to provide. the answer that ultimately came convincingly: she In 2011, she made a multi-episode television work that was considered in the transmission of Proust’s novel in its full text from the first “Van die Swaan” to the end of “ The Restored Time ”as the most complete visual-literary translation of the Proustian text, although it is difficult to compare it in terms of its artistic value with what Raul Ruiz achieved in The Time Restored, it was undoubtedly natural, as Fruth deliberately elitist. work while Campanis had to comply with the minimum rules of mass television. Sure, Proust and his text were the winners in both cases.

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