Le Temps Retrouvé

France

Synopsis

1922
On his deathbed, Marcel Proust is looking through photos, rernembering his life. But the real characters mingle with the fictional ones.
And gradually, fiction wins out over reality.

His life's only sense lies in the reality of his work, and his work streams before his eyes. His literary characters people his memories, like a stereoscope projection on the wall of his room, coming to life in die seif-contained world of his small apartment on the Rue Hamelin.
The happy days and lost paradises of his childhood alternate with the more recent memories of his social and literary life. The drama of the war, closely examined from the viewpoint of the small circles of Paris society, is transformed into a vast social comedy. In the spreading twilight, the shape of post-war society looms on the horizon.

Then, everything shatters ... Proust-Ruiz does his utmost to recreate an impossible timelessness, blending the baroque and the surreal. Body language and the reading of signs become the narrator-director's favourite game as reader-viewers look on, astonished, frozen and amused by turn, marionettes jerking in a world of madmen, culminating in the dreadful masquerade of the Ball of Faces. Here, a universal lack of recognition reigns: no-one is in their rightful place. Ghostlier than ever, liquefied in an intangible dimension, the narrator watches these disjointed puppets in disbelief. Almost all the characters from "Remembrance of Things Past" are there: mummified, aggressive, blind, superannuated or unwittingly amusing impostors, vainly attempting to conceal the only truth that hides behind their make-up.

Now it is time to end the tale, so here it all begins for our narrator who decides that true life, the only life truly lived, is literature ...

Far more than an exploration of memory, "Remembrance of Things Past" is the description of a learning process: at the end of a journey of initiation, a narrator realises that he can finally write his work.

Director's Biography

Born in Chile in 1941, it was in the 60s that this Chilean playwright also became one of the leading figures of his country's cinema industry and cinematographic advisor to Allende. Caught up in the fall of the Socialist government, he chose exile and claimed asylum in France. A prolific, universally-recognised director, he became known to the general audience with his two latest feature films, THREE LIVES AND ONLY ONE DEATH starring Marcello Mastroianni, presented in the official competition in Cannes in 1996 and GENEALOGIES OF A CRIME starring Catherine Deneuve, which won the Silver Bear in Berlin in 1997.

Filmography:
1960 LA MALETA
1964 LE RETOUR
1967 EL TANGO DEL VIUDO
1968 THREE SAD TIGERS
1970 THE PENAL COLONY
1973 WHITE DOVE
1974 DIALOGUE OF EXILES
1976 THE SUSPENDED VOCATION
1978 THE HYPOTHESIS OF THE STOLEN PAINTING
1982 THE THREE CROWNS OF THE SAILOR
1982 CLASSIFICATION DES PLANTES
1983 BERENICE
CITY OF PI RATES
1984 L'EVEILLE DU PONT DE L'ALMA
VOYAGE AUTOUR D'UNE MAIN
1985 MANOEL DANS L'ILE DES MERVEILLES
REGIME SANS PAIN
MAMMAME
1986 LIFE IS A DREAM
TREASURE ISLAND
RICHARD III
1987 LA CHOUETTE AVEUGLE
LE PROFESSEUR TARANNE
1988 TOUS LES NUAGES SONT DES HORLOGES
BEHIND-THE-WALL
1989 PALLA Y TALLA
THE GOLDEN BOAT
1990 LA NOVELA ERRANTE
L'EXODE
1992 DARK AT NOON
1994 FADO, MAJOR AND MINOR
1995 THREE LIVES AND ONLY ONE DEATH
1996 GENEALOGIES OF A CRIME
1997 SHATTERED IMAGE
1998 TIME REGAINED
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Raoul Ruiz

Written by: Gilles Taurand, Raoul Ruiz

Produced by: Paulo Branco

Cinematography: Ricardo Aronovich

Editing: Denise de Casabianca

Production Design: Bruno Beauge

Costume Design: Gabriella Pescucci, Caroline de Vivaise

Hair & Make-up: Cedric Gerard

Main Cast: Marcello Mazzarella (narrator), Catherine Deneuve (Odette), Emmanuelle Béart (Gilberte), Vincent Perez (Morel), John Malkovich (Charlus), Pascal Greggory (Saint Loup)

Nominations and Awards

  • EFA Feature Film Selection 1999