A group of now-aging Marcel Proust fans have been meeting at a cafe in Buenos Aires since 2001, to read his seven-volume classic In Search of Lost Time. This black-and-white film documenting the reading sessions is an oasis of calm, intimacy, and depth in a modern world dominated by speedy online communications and innovation.
We listen to passages read aloud, and observe the attentive listeners with thoughtful, emotional, and enthusiastic expressions on their faces. Some of them have already read the 3,000-page novel five times. At each meeting, they patiently peel away the next layer together, exercising their intellects and posing questions about the book—and about themselves. They respond to each other’s observations with rigor and humor, and always with affection. Together, they elevate the act of reading to an art form.
As we watch Le temps perdu we become witness to the many meetings that took place over the four years of filming. To join this devoted book club feels like a warm embrace—not just for the participants, but for anyone who yearns for that misty-eyed feeling that everything was better in the good old days.