Why the top-365-songs list isn't a stupid idea
Actors sink their teeth into vampire roles
Gregory Corso: My encounter with a Beat legend
Golden Globes: Sleazy and proud of it
In the offing, Clinton continent looms
"NYPD Blue" opener: The misery continues
New movie genre: Reclusive authors anonymous
"West Wing," "Ally," et al.: Words, words, words
When TV shows outstay their welcome
Film critics dig their own graves with "Angels" review
Great Robert Altman films you never
Famous folk, next week in the arts, show business briefs
"Time regained": Proust in the multiplex
Glitterati is dead, long live Popfocus
Carl Barks: The man who put the ducks in Duckburg
"Almost Famous": Lester Bangs rises from the dead
Liz Hurley wins in war of words with Jane mag
Douglas poses with Zeta-Jones, and baby-makes three
Weddings that aren't: Douglas, Zeta-Jones, Madonna, Ritchie
The Emmy War: A half-century of coast-to-coast feuding
Jennifer Love Hewitt plays the Iglesias odds
It's raining books by and about Trumps
What's in a mane? Blond woman in the news
Liz Hurley denies dissing ex-beau
Rock Hall of Infamy: Anti-heroes from Elvis to Eminem
Barbra tix bankrupt fans
Laurels for Kathie Lee to rest on
Hillary "In bed" with De Niro, Cruise, Kidman
How "Sopranos," "West Wing" will divvy up awards
This just in: Donald Trump is not a dope
Walter Matthau: A rumpled old dog in the heart of the city
Sampras to take a stroke at wedding bells
Who wants to host "Monday Night Football"?
Queen rewards Tina Brown for demoralizing American readers
How the Korean War cane to TV land 20 years late
Ivanka Trump: From catwalk to commencement line
Lester Bangs: The troublesome punk who wouldn't die
Rags clash over Ted Turner "romance"
With straight face, Trump deems Marla's move "tacky"
"Friends" re-up for another season of top ratings, top money
Madonna in denial, and rightly so
"Suburbia": The continental subdivide
Howard Stern, Sly Stallone in bizarre, apocryphal triangle
Easter video viewing: "Spartacus" to "Harvey"
Billy’s in the news: Bob, Joel in love but not with other
"Charles's Angels" movie: Dispiriting news for old-time fans
Innovative career move for 'NYPD Blue' co-star
Top model: Why I gave oldish rocker husband the heave-ho
Unpleasantville: The awful truth about old-time TV families
Tina Brown held captive in desert by demanding children
Anybody's Oscar: Unusually suspenseful awards show looms
Oscar telecast: Looking for a few good hosts
"Lambs," "Beauty": Oscar's love affair with unacceptable behavior
Brad Pitt, Oscar to be in same room at same time
Letterman bites guest-host bullet: Andrew "Dice" Clay, call your agent
Seinfeld eyes East Hampton manse: Where's the welcome wagon?
"Mod Squad" Immortal dishes couple du jour
Brad Pitt's second thoughts about Oscar
Mike McCurry praises "West Wing": It's not entirely demeaning,,,"
Memo to "Hannibal" producers: Get Najimy while the getting's good
Don't Invite Gwyneth and Oscar to the same party
True or false: Douglas, Zeta-Jones don't even know each other
Ex-Clinton honcho linked to ex-"Cheers" costar
Third party cited in Trump-Knauss breakup
Gossip queen goes to bat for Talk mag
20th century's No. 1 hit: "Satisfaction" hits the spot
Statement: Spice girl's marital problems insoluble
Charlie Brown, Pogo and me
From Howdy to Charlie Brown, we hate to say goodbye
The Beatle George: While his guitar gently weeps
Jodie Foster's people in mild tiff with CBS
A Peanuts trivia Q&A
Publicist: Boyle still joined at hip
There's video in your future and future in your video
"The future is now": Hit rewind
Whitney Houston presides over confluence of talent
Jim Carrey's flack earns A "D," Cher's A "B-minus"
Geraldo: bye-bye, doghouse
Michael Douglas does nothing much, reporters go wild
Ricky Martin on Menudo: Look back in anger
How to outsmart Halloween crowds at the video store
Tom Cruise puts himself in harm's way, only not really
1800-1900: Steaming towards revolution
1700-1800: Liberty, equality and bloodshed
1600-1700: The earth moves; North America is settled
Trump mulls travel plans, from altar to White House
"Faces of Impressionism" Time machine made of canvas, paint
Major quakes aren't personal unless they happen to you
Brad Pitt gracious about character assassination
Director insists Harrison Ford is not a brainless hulk
Costner, Willis, Douglas. Branagh, Sting_ in that order
Streisand: Color her ready to plug her new album
Julia and Benjamin's rings devoid of significance, flack says
Literary mud wrestling, featuring Geri and The Spice Girls
Urgent news: Ford to replace Gibson on "GMA" eventually
She married a monster from outer space
Never mind Godzilla VS. Mothra, Here's Trump VS. Cronkite
Spurned by Pitt, Redford pays court to Damon
Celebrity coyness is bustin' out all over
"Detroit Rock City": Kiss of death
Talk is cheap? Not with Tina Brown at the helm
The Beats: Remembered, Lionized and Unread
Real estate beat, starring Woody Allen and Donald Trump
Mood Music, or how we learned to stop worrying
Sex in the cinema: From "Last Tango" to "Eyes Wide Shut"
Two easy steps to looking exactly like Ricky Martin
Close encounters of the Muppet kind
Upcoming Brad Pitt movie not garbage, insiders say
Kathie Lee's eyewear excites Islanders' ire
Back to the future, continued
"Wild Wild West": Buck Rogers in the 19th century
Sculptures by Roy Lichtenstein: Fun, Fun, Fun
An expert's verdict:" Austin Powers" is pretty neat
Click here for pointless celebrity gossip
P. Dempsey Tabler of the jungle: The many faces of Tarzan
Kirk Douglas' Ex tells all about Errol Flynn fling
New twist in TV programming: Ax profitable shows
Private jet fees spell the end for another celebrity union
Killer serials: "Flash," "Buck" and a boy named George Lucas
Top nonfiction books: A message from two old men
Celebrity Dream dreams: Monica, Donald, Barbara, Georgette
Two divas, publicist form bizarre show-biz triangle
Johnny Cash tribute: Ring of fire, ring of friends
Streisand employee really upset about rumors
Grande Dame Eyes MGM Grand Gig
Secretive celebs? Not by a long shot
NBC honcho bristles at notion that Brokaw is not a saint
Barbara Walters not keen on daily dose of Monica
David Letterman, Donald Trump, Eddie Murphy, Elton John
Madonna, Frank Sinatra, Prince Charles, Maj, Ronald Ferguson, Fergie, Miranda Richardson, Brad Pitt, Juliette Lewis, Axl Rose, Stephanie Seymour
September 27, 2000
'Time Regained': Proust in the multiplex
By ROGER ANDERSON Scripps Howard News Service
So your son is past 30 and still living off his allowance. He refuses to get a job. All he does all day is listen to music and daydream about goodness knows what.
His trifling friends are always dragging him away to some party. Most days he says he doesn't feel well and won't even get out of bed. When you give him money, he squanders it on expensive things.
The only vaguely productive thing he does is scribble in a notebook, but what you've seen of the scribbling looks like a lot of navel-gazing. You've just about given up hope that he'll ever amount to anything.
Buck up - your boy could be the next Marcel Proust.
If you don't believe it, go see "Time Regained," the newly released film based on the last volume of Proust's fictional masterwork, "A la Recherchez du Temps Perdu." It will depict a fellow not unlike your son turning into one of the most celebrated writers in history.
Proust was born in Paris in 1871 and died in 1922, and during most of his life his mother and father, well-educated and affluent French bourgeois, and even his devoted friends thought he'd never amount to a hill of beans.
He was spoiled rotten by his parents' wealth, and the only thing that could get him out of bed sometimes was the chance to hear a Beethoven string quartet or go see the flowers blooming in the Champs E'Lysees. He suffered from asthma and also believed himself to be afflicted with just about every illness known to man.
Occasionally he jotted down a precious little essay for publication in a dandified Parisian newspaper called Figaro, and he had a habit of mooning around cathedral porches staring at the statues and other bric-a-brac.
To give him his due, he did publish translations of the British aesthete John Ruskin. On the other hand, he did so without having any real command of the English language.
Finally he used his parent's money to privately publish a book he called "Le Cote du Chez Swann," an expense that his parents (and even his friends) regarded as yet another bootless extravagance.
Lo and behold, the book - the English translation of the title is "Swann's Way" - became a Paris phenomenon; a commercial publisher picked it up and it sold like French toast.
Then that deuced bore, World War I, intervened, delaying the publication of further volumes - for, yes, the lad (now in his 40s) was in the process of writing a huge work that would come to seven volumes.
The succeeding installments sold as phenomenally as the first and were acclaimed and loved by critics and readers all over France.
A slacker as always, Marcel didn't quite manage to finish the final drafts of the last couple of volumes before dying of untreated pneumonia in 1922, at age 51.
The work's first English translator called it "A Remembrance of Things Past," borrowing a phrase from Shakespeare, but later, more literal translators call the work in “Search of Lost Time." (No, that wasn't the title of an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation.")
One reason Proust's writing is deathless is precisely because he was just like your no-account boy - just like millions of overgrown middle-class children who have never learned how to fend for themselves and spend all their time gossiping, listening to music and looking at pretty pictures. Proust, though, was the too-smart-for-his-own-good middle-class lay about who actually managed to put his eternal woolgathering into concrete form and send it off to the printer.
His work is highly cinematic on the one hand, filled with shockingly vivid visual images, and extremely wordy on the other. That dizzying lengthiness is one reason few filmmakers have attempted to translate Proust into their medium, although he is wildly loved by cinephiles.
A few years ago Jeremy Irons impersonated the great Proustian hero, Swann, a brilliant aristocrat who throws away his social standing and his peace of mind for the unrequited love of a shopworn little tart, in the art-house movie "Swann in Love." Years earlier, the playwright Harold Pinter wrote something with the working title “The Proust Screenplay," but today it's still only a screenplay.
The new "Time Regained," with John Malkovich as Swann and Catherine Deneuve as Swann's tart in her sunset years, is preceded by very positive word of mouth from the trans-Atlantic legion of Proust aficionados. Right now it’s playing at a theater near you. Take that overgrown boy of yours to see it, and on the way home, buy him a new notebook and a box of pencils.
Roger Anderson is arts and entertainment editor at Scripps Howard News
back to top