February 2017 | Nate Pedersen

Marcel Proust Caught on Film?

Marcel Proust died in 1922 at age 51. While there are many surviving photographs of the author, his voice was never recorded, and he was never captured on film. Or at least that's what scholars have long thought. But that may just have changed.

A Canadian professor, Jean-Pierre Sirois-Trahan, of Laval University, announced last week that he believes a film of wedding guests in 1904 may contain a brief clip of the elusive author. The film was recently found in the archives of the Centre National du Cinéma in Paris. It documents a wedding celebrated in 1904 between Elaine, the daughter of the Count and Countess Greffulhe, and the Duke Armand Guiche, a wedding which Proust is known to have attended.

The young man thought to be Proust descends the stairs at 0:37 in the above clip, wearing a frock coat and a Derby hat. Proust would have been 34 years old at the time.