Céleste (1980)


In 1914, with men gone to war, Marcel Proust hired Céleste Albaret as his attendant. More than eight years later, she was at his side when he died. During this entire time, she only entered his room when he rang for her, sleeping from 9 AM to 3 PM to wait during the night while he wrote. Marcel uses her as more than a servant: she is his muse, telling stories of her childhood to stir his remembrance of things past; she’s in cahoots with him as he manipulates those he wants to draw on for his writing; she listens appalled to his descriptions of the underside of Paris. Hers is a life of love and sweet devotion as he races time to finish his work before death.

Director: Percy Adlon.
Writers: Percy Adlon, Céleste Albaret (book).
Stars: Eva Mattes, Jürgen Arndt, Norbert Wartha, Wolf Euba, Joseph Manoth, Leo Bardischewski, Horst Raspe, Andi Stefanescu, Rolf Illig.

1980 Chicago International Film Festival – Nominated for the Gold Hugo.


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    March 10, 2022

    Thank you, Thank you. Thank you. I never thought I would ever have the chance to see this gem again! This and 102 BOULEVARD HAUSSMANN (1990) which tells essentially the same story with Alan Bates and Janet McTeer in the leads, form beautiful companion pieces. We need Proust and more Proust in our lives (IMO, of course ; )) Thanks, Jon.

  2. Tveitt Irgens
    March 10, 2022

    Nice! Thanks!

  3. March 15, 2022

    A beautiful and beautifully-made film. Of course, had the characters spoken French, it would have won prizes and renown.

    May 23, 2023

    I watched this again. Anybody who is a lover of the work of Marcel Proust would do themselves a big favor and read Celeste Albaret’s memoir MONSIEUR PROUST if they haven’t already done so. IMO, it documents one of the greatest love stories of all time. It was Albaret’s intense unromanticized love which underscored everything she did for her employer. Without her, we would not now have what may be the greatest of work of Western literature. IN SEARCH OF LOST TIME’s ongoing gift-giving to its devoted reader are immeasurable. Other than the subtly related ALL & EVERYTHING First Series of G I Gurdjieff, I know of no other educative work of fiction on its vast and multivalent scale.

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