Proust at the Movies

Publié le 29 novembre 2011

Beugnet Martine

Marion Schmid

Editeur : Routledge

Parution : 29/11/2011

Nombre de pages : 282

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RésuméTable des matièresCritiques

Film established itself as an artistic form of expression at the same time that Proust started work on his masterpiece, A la recherche du temps perdu. If Proust apparently took little interest in what he described as a poor avatar of reductive, mimetic representation, the resonances between his own radical reworking of writing styles and the novelistic forms, and cinema as the art of time are undeniable.

Proust at the Movies is the first study in English to consider these rich interconnections. Its introductory chapter charts the missed encounter between Proust and the cinema and addresses the problems inherent in adapting his novel to the screen.

The following chapters examine the various cinematic responses to A la recherche du temps perdu attempted to date: Luchino Visconti and Joseph Losey’s failed attempts at adapting the whole of the novel in the 1970s, Volker Schlöndorff’s Un Amour de Swann (1984), Raoul Ruiz’s Le Temps retrouvé (1999), Chantal Akerman’s La Prisonnière in La Captive (2000), and Fabio Carpi’s Quartetto Basileus (1982) and Le Intermittenze del cuore (2003).

The last chapter tracks the echoes of Proust’s writing in the work of various directors, from Abel Grace to Jean-Luc Godard. The approach is multidisciplinary, combining literary criticism with film theory and elements of philosophy of art. Special attention is given to the modernist legacy in literature and film with its distinctive aesthetic and narrative features. An outline of the history and recent evolution of contemporary art cinema thus emerges: a cinema where the themes at the heart of Proust’s work – memory, time, perception – are ceaselessly explored.


Proust and the cinema

Cinema as grand narrative: Visconti’s and Losey’s planned adaptations of A la recherche du temps perdu

Love demystified: Volker Schlöndorff’s Un Amour de Swann; Surrealist Proust: Raoul Ruiz’s Le Temps retrouvé

Filming obsession: Chantal Akerman’s La Captive

Beyond adaptation: Fabio Carpi’s Quartetto Basileus and Le Intermittenze del cuore

The modernist legacy


Filmography and bibliography


  • ‘…[the authors’] analysis is both impressive and helpful. Anyone interested in Proust or in cinema adaptation will benefit from reading it.’
    – Times Literary Supplement
  • ‘… lucid and stimulating… Adopting a genuinely multi-disciplinary approach, it represents the first systematic exploration of this topic and consists of a series of self-contained but interconnecting chapters… the book’s breadth of allusion and depth of analysis make it both rewarding and enjoyable to read. It should be of interest not only to specialists in Proust and Film Studies but also to undergraduates, especially if it is read selectively (as the authors explicitly encourage us to do).’
    – Modern Language Review
  • ’… most compelling… Beugnet and Schmid find a good balance in their multi-disciplinary approach, engaging intelligently with Proust’s work and cinema while keeping their work accessible to newcomers… a fascinating discovery for Proustians and cinephiles alike… The excellent filmography and bibliography, however, will be very useful to researchers inspired to continue Beugnet and Schmid’s worthwhile endeavor.’
    H-France Review