La Captive

You wait years for one Marcel Proust adaptation and two come along at once. Chantal Ackerman’s film is a very different venture from Raul Ruiz’s Time Regained, yet it’s just as idiosyncratic and just as faithful to the spirit of the text. Ackerman’s film is a reduced version of the volume ‘La Prisonniere’, and takes the fragile amours of Marcel and Albertine into the present day. Fragile, wealthy young aesthete Simon (Stanislas Merhar) is endlessly fascinated by his young lover Ariane (Sylvie Testud), who lives with him (effectively under lock and key) in his enclosed, old-wealth apartment. Despite his incessant questioning and attempts to keep Ariane under surveillance through her friends, Simon can never really know her, and her attraction to women remains his constant torture. Ackerman’s script closely traces the mechanics of the tormented Proustian relationship, but its move into a present-day context at once makes Simon’s anguish seem more pathologically strange and makes the couple’s tensions an iconic representation of the male-female condition.

France/Belgium, 2000.
English subtitles.
Dolby stereo SR.
112 min.

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