Alain Tanner

  • Alain Tanner – No Man’s Land (1985)

    Alain TannerArthouseDramaSwitzerland

    “Alain Tanner’s sparse, beautiful film is a philosophical reflection on and a poetic, atmospheric representation of human homelessness.”

    “No man’s land” tells the story of four people trying to fulfil their most basic desires in life. A group of young people meet up regularly in a nightclub situated in a former customs house on the Swiss-French border, as a means of escape from their drab lives. No Man’s Land is an “in- between” film. Between staying and leaving, between Paul and Jean, about friendship, between Paul and Madeleine, Jean and Mali, Jean and Lucie, about love. Between Paul and his route of escape, Jean and his territory, Madeleine and her music, Mali and her exile.Read More »

  • Claude Goretta & Alain Tanner – Nice Time (1957)

    1951-1960Alain TannerClaude GorettaDocumentaryShort FilmUnited Kingdom


    In September 1956, two young Swiss film enthusiasts, Claude Goretta and Alain Tanner applied for a grant from the British Film Institute to finance a film about London’s Piccadilly on Saturday night. Both in their mid-twenties, they were working at the BFI, where they had met Lindsay Anderson and the other Free Cinema members, as well film critics like Derek Prouse and John Berger, who offered encouragement and support.Read More »

  • Alain Tanner – Une flamme dans mon coeur AKA A Flame in My Heart (1987)

    1981-1990Alain TannerArthouseDramaFrance

    A very unusual, quietly intense experience, the film’s beating heart is Myriam Mézières, who co-wrote the script and is in every scene. Never afraid to appear ridiculous, she gives her all to the role, whilst Tanner (with whom she had a relationship) coolly observes from a distance through the soft, hazy grain of 16mm. The film unfolds in a dreamlike manner as the protagonist Mercedes slides from passionate, sensitive actress towards an increasingly fragile and needy state, suffering from a hunger that can only be satiated by pure, ceaseless love.Read More »

  • Alain Tanner – La vallée fantôme (1987)

    1981-1990Alain TannerArthouseDramaFrance

    An ageing writer Paul is determined to make a film but he cannot decide on the subject or location. Instead, he chooses to concentrate his efforts on finding the actress who will star in the film, believing that she will define the lead character and content of the film. He recruits a young man, Jean, to try to find an Italian actress, Dara, whom he has lost sight of. Jean finds Dara in a small Italian town, serving in a modest restaurant, but she refuses to return to acting…Read More »

  • Alain Tanner – Charles mort ou vif AKA Charles, Dead or Alive (1969)

    1961-1970Alain TannerArthouseDramaSwitzerland

    That the critics baptized the wave which emerged at this time as the “new Swiss cinema” simply reflects the fact that the “old” Swiss cinema was unknown to the cinema-going public. Today, the appeal and energy of this first film remain undiminished, magnified by the exceptional stature and presence of François Simon and the sublimely uncluttered camera work of Renato Berta. Tanner drew his subject matter from what he saw of the events of May ’68 in Paris, which he covered for Swiss television. Unimpressed by the ideological pronouncements of the young demonstrators (Tanner was nearly 40 and mistrustful of the siren songs of militancy), he was more struck by the elderly people marching alongside them.Read More »

  • Alain Tanner – La Salamandre (1971)

    1971-1980Alain TannerArthouseDramaSwitzerland

    ‘Two men, arty though somewhat staid, are drawn to the spirited and quixotic Rosemonde, a young working-class woman whom they meet because they’re writing a teleplay about a minor but curious event in which either her uncle was wounded while cleaning his rifle or she shot him. Pierre is a free-lance journalist hired to write the script; he’s short of time so he asks a Bohemian novelist friend, Paul, to help. Pierre wants facts and tracks down Rosemonde for interviews that lead to other explorations; Paul only wants to imagine her and needs little more than her name to do so. But he does meet her, and she entangles him, too. Did she cause the shooting? Is she venomous or innocent?’Read More »

  • Alain Tanner – Jonas qui aura 25 ans en l’an 2000 AKA Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000 (1976)

    1971-1980Alain TannerArthouseDramaSwitzerland

    The third collaboration between the Swiss director Tanner and the English writer John Berger follows a group of young people in Geneva who are searching for new directions in their lives after the failure of the revolutionary hopes of the 1960s. A former labor activist takes a job as a gardener and handyman with some free-spirited farmers, setting up a school in a greenhouse for the neighborhood kids, while his wife continues to work in a factory. A disillusioned radical turns to gambling, while having interesting conversations with his girlfriend, an adventurous student of Tantrism. A history teacher uses radical methods in the classroom to foster socialist ideas in his students. He hooks up with a grocery store cashier who undercharges poor people and steals food from the store to help her aging friend, a veteran of the Resistance.Read More »

  • Alain Tanner – La femme de Rose Hill (1989)

    1981-1990Alain TannerArthouseDramaFrance

    Julie, a young coloured women from Rose Hill on the Island of Mauritius, arrives in Switzerland to marry Marcel whom she has only seen on a photograph. But the marriage is a failure. Julie who feels totally lost is looked after by Jean who has fallen in love with her. From now on she lives in the home of Jean’s grand-mother, who is called Jeanne. She is an old, handicapped lady and Julie waits on her. Julie becomes pregnant…Read More »

  • Alain Tanner – Messidor (1979)

    1971-1980Alain TannerDramaPoliticsSwitzerland


    Two Swiss girls around twenty, one a history student and the other a store clerk, meet while hitch-hiking. Out of a whim and with nothing better to do, they decide to go on hitch-hiking together around Switzerland as long as they feel like it. After a couple of days, their money is spent in restaurants and cheap hotels, so they continue their tour by sleeping in cattle sheds and asking for money and accommodation from people. An unexpected discovery, a gun found in a car’s glove compartment, gradually turns their methods somewhat more dramatic. Written by Markku Kuoppamäki (IMDB).Read More »

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