Monday, February 1, 2016, 6:15 PM
Visual Arts Presentation Lab, SME 149

Based on the fifth volume of Marcel Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu, Chantal Akerman’s La captive (2000) reimagines La Prisonnière in contemporary Paris. Her main protagonist Simon’s obsession with his lover Ariane unfolds on screen over a series of scenes taking place in his family apartment, at the park, the opera, the museum, and on the beach. Over the course of the film, his preoccupation with Ariane’s mental and sexual life, which proves to be impenetrable, pitches towards pathology, infusing and animating the emptiness of his own. Featuring Akerman’s frequent collaborators Stanislas Merhar (Almayer’s Folly), Sylvie Testud (Tomorrow We Move), and Aurore Clément (Les rendez-vous d'Anna), La captive is a cinematic adaption that consciously derives its inspiration from Akerman’s own interest in human affective relations rather than from a strict reading Proust’s novel. These liberties were crucial in maintaining the integrity of the film, “otherwise,” as the director once noted, “one gets caught in a battle—lost from the outset—against literature.”