Pop Culture
Pop Culture: Articles for the Scripps Howard News Service & "Seen, Heard, Said"

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
heard of

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

"Seen, Heard, Said"

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 Service.

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