Elegant and educated bachelor, Charles Swann, moves in the most powerful and fashionable circles of Paris in the 1890's. When he falls in love with Odette de Crecy, a courtesan, his friends...
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Elegant and educated bachelor, Charles Swann, moves in the most powerful and fashionable circles of Paris in the 1890's. When he falls in love with Odette de Crecy, a courtesan, his friends warn him against marriage. Proving himself a silly and socially-foul goose, Swann ducks his social responsibilities, Odette ensnares him, and he is gently but firmly cast out of society amidst everyone's great politeness. Written by
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For a long time I've thought that the Nobel Prize should go to a filmmaker, and who better than Volker Schlondorff. He has taken so many literary classics and turned them into fine films--Young Torless (Musil), The Tin Drum (Glass), Coup de Grace (Yourcenar), Michael Kohlhass (Kleist), The Ogre (Tournier) and many more. He has worked in Germany, France and the US and shows great ability and imagination always. This is the first film adaptation of Proust and it is wonderful in many places. The long sequence at Odette's house when an hysterical Swann goes on a rampage--looking for the source of the sound he imagines he hears--only to drive Odette into a fury as she smashes a vase is a classic of modern filmmaking. The pettiness and claustrophobia in the lives of aristocrats circa 1900 is superbly brought out. Sven Nykvist is the cinematographer (deep black night scenes, lovely) and Hans Werner Henze wrote the superb music: it's like another actor in the story; jangled, dissonant sound accompanying Swann's frantic travels through Paris.
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