Time Regained. Le Temps retrouvé. Raúl Ruiz. 1999. What better way to spend a rain soaked Sunday evening than with a cinematic evocation of Marcel Proust’s world? Raúl Ruiz wisely chooses to ground his newly restored adaptation in the final volume of the author’s sprawling work. This permits him to pick and choose elements from the earlier segments as he sees fit. I loved this section of the novel because it uses the onset of the Great War to uproot the entire society that the narrator grew up in. I believe I saw his film years ago, but it was before I read In Search of Lost Time, so whatever impression I had was certainly hindered by my lack of familiarity with the subject matter. If you are concerned with narrative cohesion and keeping track of the characters and their relationships with one another, Ruiz’s film will pose an immense challenge. Though crucial scenes from the novel are staged, they are often truncated and phantasmagoric. Names and faces blend into a blur of moustaches, fragrances, and impressive sounding family names. My experience with the film was akin to attending a class reunion. Initially there was confusion, but then the memories fell into place. Even when they never fully coalesced, context clues provided enough to fake my way through. Intriguingly, Ruiz treats this more as a Proust biopic than a pure literary adaptation. Major figures from the novels and previous films such as Swann and Albertine are reduced to fragments. Chronologically this makes perfect sense because by the last volume their roles in the narrator’s life had concluded, but their absence may make it difficult for some who knows Proust only in passing. There is a key scene in both novel and film when an ailing Baron de Charlus (here played by John Malkovich) staggers through the streets reciting a list of vanished friends. By this point in the narrative, almost everyone was little more than an evocative name.