Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB. France/Italy/Portugal, 1999. Gemini Films, France 2 Cinéma, Les Films du Lendemain, Blu Cinematografica, Madragoa Filmes, Eurimages, Canal+, Centre National de la Cinématographie, Procirep. Screenplay by Raoul Ruiz, Gilles Taurand, based on the novel by Marcel Proust. Cinematography by Ricardo Aronovich. Produced by Philippe Saal. Music by Jorge Arriagada. Production Design by Bruno Beauge. Costume Design by Caroline de Vivaise, Gabriella Pescucci. Film Editing by Denise de Casabianca. Cannes Film Festival 1999.
Sometimes tough to follow but richly rewarding adaptation of one part of Marcel Proust’s supposedly unfilmable “Remembrance Of Things Past”. As he lies dying in bed, Proust recalls all the many relationships, lovers and friends alike, real and fictional, that he has come across throughout his life. Director Raoul Ruiz’s camera fluidly travels through each scene, giving no strong sense of reality or continuity, only the random memories of a dying man trying to travel back to his happiest days. The production is perfectly designed, the performances all haunting and poetic (Catherine Deneuve stands out as Odette) and Ruiz’s making Proust’s work a dreamy magic lantern show couldn’t be more appropriate.