Sunday, September 13, 2015

Raoul Ruiz: 'Le temps retrouvé, d'après l'oeuvre de Marcel Proust' (1999) - Take II

In this second post inspired by Raoul Ruiz's beautiful film Le temps retrouvé, d'après l'oeuvre de Marcel Proust / Marcel Proust's Time Regained (1999), I want only to make three points.

First, Marcel's biggest epiphany comes in the library of the Guermantes (lbibliothèque du prince de Guermantes). Thus, the key in understanding Proust is The Library! 

(Indeed, any good library contains a multitude of magical powers, and its contents sure to startle you with intense memories from time to time. You may recall that in Andrei Tarkovsky's Солярис / Solaris (1972), the space station library plays a similarly important role in triggering both alien and human epiphanies -- and for even experiencing zero gravity.) 
Second, in addition to Raoul Ruiz's work, there are two other very good films based on Proust that I have seen: Percy Adlon's Céleste (1982) and Volker Schlöndorff's Un amour de Swann / Swann in Love (1984). These films, combined with Proust the actual person and the writings (texts) of Proust, all serve to illuminate each other from different angles. 
Third, while in the past, upon my early reading of it, I surely caught many of the poignant elements in Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu / Remembrance of Things Past / In Search of Lost Time, but over time, and more and more in time -- thanks in part to Raoul Ruiz's Time Regained -- I am really digging the many subtly comic elements in Proust. . . those even beyond the already observed satirical mockery of socio-economic class distinctions and the foibles of social interaction. 

In the Ruiz movie, Marcello Mazzarella plays Marcel in a way that reminds me a lot of Peter Sellers -- a masterful blend of the Peter Sellers we see in Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), the Pink Panther movies, and, as Chance the Gardner (aka Chauncey Gardiner), in Being There (1979). 

Look for the comical and you will see it, for surely it's better to laugh than to cry -- more fun, at any rate.    

Today's Rune: Partnership.

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