Home   |   Register               Web Search: by Google
channel navigation

Main Page 
Love Life 
In Store 

      " Style
      " Comics
      " Crosswords
      " Horoscopes
      " Books
      " Travel
      " Weather
      " Traffic
      " TV Listings

It's 'Time' to Get Confused

By Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 15, 2000

Even if you've never read Marcel Proust's 3,000-page multivolume "Remembrance of Things Past," you've probably heard the criticism, which has labeled it everything from brilliant to unreadable. The verdict, I suspect, on filmmaker Raul Ruiz's "Time Regained" – a nearly three-hour snore-fest/work of genius based on the last two volumes of Proust's magnum opus – will be similarly split.

Although the maddeningly talky, defiantly uneventful and at times surreal film "stars" Italian actor and Proust look-alike Marcello Mazzarella as the author, Mazzarella is required to do little besides observe the soporific proceedings with an ever-present smirk on his mustachioed face. Narrated from Proust's 1922 deathbed by the dubbed-in voice of French actor Patrice Chereau, the reminiscence mixes fictional characters from Proust's novel with historical fact in a sequence of drawing-room conversations consisting chiefly of well-dressed, turn-of-the-century aristos yakking it up about . . . well, I wasn't ever really sure what they were talking about or why (and it's not just because the subtitles translate "invasion" as "invadement"). It's the sort of movie that can make normally well-read and intelligent viewers feel stupid, more likely because Ruiz's dreamlike narrative mosaic jumps back and forth in time in a brilliant evocation of its narrator's advancing senility, with enough slippery camera moves and sliding pieces of scenery to make you seasick.

The cast of thousands (featuring John Malkovich as a cruel, effete and sexually ambiguous nobleman and Catherine Deneuve as grand-dame set dressing) is virtually impossible to keep track of, as characters morph back and forth into one another in an imitation of the tricks that memory plays. As someone named "paur46" posted on the Internet Movie Database recently, "I think it would have been helpful if the characters had worn name tags (just kidding)." You may be kidding, sweetheart, but I'm not.

"Time Regained" (Unrated, 165 minutes) – Contains a fleeting glimpse of sadomasochistic sexual activity. In French with English subtitles.


Copyright 2000 The Washington Post Company

Search Entertainment

Optional Keyword

powered by citysearch.com
More Search Options

"Time Regained"
showtimes and details

John Malkovich filmography

Catherine Deneuve filmography

Vincent Perez filmography

Home   |   Register               Web Search: by Google
channel navigation