CÉLESTE

(1981)

“One of the most profound tributes one art form has ever paid to another.”

– The Village Voice

A film by Percy Adlon

Eva Mattes  •  Juergen Arndt

Norbert Wartha, Wolf Euba

Music by Cesar Franck,

performed by the Bartholdy String Quartet

Screenplay by Percy Adlon,

based on the memoir Monsieur Proust by Céleste Albaret.

Produced by Eleonore Adlon

Produced for television by Benigna von Keyserlingk

Director of Photography – Jürgen Martin

Editor – Clara Fabry

Production design – Hans Gailling

A pelemele Film production with BR

From 1912 to 1922, while Marcel Proust lay in his bedroom, scribbling out his masterpiece about lost time on frayed pieces of loose-leaf paper, a young French housekeeper, Céleste Albaret, waited patiently in the kitchen for “Monsieur” to ring. She was the wife of Proust’s chauffeur, and waited fifty years before telling her story. Céleste understood Proust as few others did, and over the years slowly took over the running of his life. The film is simultaneously a convincing depiction of the artist at work and a study of master and servant, feudally free with each other within the limits both accept. We see the writer in all his childish posturing and dedicated flory through Céleste’s loving eyes. As Céleste says, looking at us calmly, “Monsieur is looking for truth. I act as his hound.” Alexander Walker of The Standard says, “It must be the finest literary movie, in the best sense of the term, ever made.”

Shot on 35mm Kodak in Munich, Cabourg, Auxillac (Massif Central, France), and Paris, January – February 1981

German, 107 min

Subtitle options: English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish

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© 2020 by Percy & Eleonore Adlon