Cinema: Portraits of a Vanished Era

The upper class suffers swankily in Time Regained

Marcel Proust wrote great gossip. His epic novel, A la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time), is artful celebrity journalism about the beautiful people of Paris in the early 20th century. This was also when movies came of age; and the novel's shuffling of tenses, from present to past to conditional, has its film equivalent in the flashback--the lightning stroke of emotional teleportation that brings a memory instantly, poignantly, to the mind's eye.

The chic, assured film that Raul Ruiz has made of the novel's final volume, Le temps retrouve (Time Regained), is an ideal Proust in pictures....

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