LE TEMPS PERDU
MUST END THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 1!
DIRECTED BY MARĺA ÁLVAREZ
“Every reader, as he reads, is actually the reader of himself." – Marcel Proust
In commemoration of the centennial of Proust's death: This immersive documentary follows a group of elderly literati who’ve met regularly for 20 years in a Buenos Aires cafe to read aloud and discuss Proust's 3,000-page, 7-volume masterpiece In Search of Lost Time. Edmund White writes: “Proust has become the premier novelist of the 20th century.” The staying power of his opus is deep and wide: Virginia Woolf swooned in admiration ("Oh if I could write like that!"); Andy Warhol and Monty Python parodied him; Alain de Botton wrote a bestseller (How Proust Can Change Your Life); and contemporary cultural icons from Tony Soprano’s therapist to Haruki Murakami reference his work. María Álvarez’s approach is itself Proustian in its patience and elegance, shot over four years, during which the group completes a single read of the novel. Eavesdropping on their interstitial chatter -- how the novel weaves into or triggers memories from their lives -- is as poignant, romantic, and enthralling as the source of their inspiration.
With support from the Ada Katz Fund for Literature in Film, the Robert E. Appel Fund for Spanish and Portuguese Language Film, and the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation Fund.
2020 102 MIN. ARGENTINA IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES
“Their enthrallment with the monumental work is palpable. (The filmmaker’s) fly-on-the-wall approach gradually reveals a surprisingly profound depth to what initially seems a quaintly old-fashioned, even absurd, exercise… (The film) starts to feel almost the polar opposite of scrolling social media sites… Proust’s novel comes to life before us… as a representation of a world so vivid that the readers feel they personally know its characters. The power of imagined worlds to transport us somewhere else, and charm our days, becomes palpable.”
– Carmen Gray, Modern Times Review
"Echoes of eternity elegantly pervade LE TEMPS PERDU, María Álvarez’s fly-on-the wall study of a Buenos Aires book-group. Shot hand-held in black-and-white, the picture effectively brings the viewer into the circle of participants."
— Neil Young, Screen Daily