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France / Italy / Portugal, 1999 (MIFF 2000, Towering Over The Eiffel – New French Cinema)

Director: Raoul Ruiz

"Marcel Proust's towering classic. The story of an invalid writer facing premature death who retrieves his childhood anxieties and adult frivolities...Time Regained is a tour de force, gorgeous yet stark. That starkness is achieved partly through the constant threat or actual of war which gives an edge to this brittle social comedy"—Sight and Sound

Veteran surrealist Raoul Ruiz faced a monumental task adapting this literary classic for the screen. Ruiz concentrates on the final volume of an epic that captures the mood and foibles of Parisian high society at the turn of the century. The decadence of the upper class forms a humourous mosaic against which to experiment with layers of time, the overlapping of fact, memory and imagination.

The cast is splendid. Catherine Deneuve queenly and raffish as Odette. John Malkovich as Charles carries the same weight as Proust's grotesque but ultimately loveable character. Ruiz's film is visually spectacular. Colours are ravishing and the movements of the camera impart a thrill rarely encountered in cinema.

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